25 April 2007

Biking Gliese 581c

Exciting exoplanet news!

Bad Astronomy Blog:
HUGE NEWS: first possibly Earthlike extrasolar planet found!

[The title pretty much speaks for itself.]

From the official European Southern Observatory press release:
Astronomers Find First Earth-like Planet in Habitable Zone

"Astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet outside our Solar System to date, an exoplanet with a radius only 50% larger than the Earth and capable of having liquid water. Using the ESO 3.6-m telescope, a team of Swiss, French and Portuguese scientists discovered a super-Earth about 5 times the mass of the Earth that orbits a red dwarf, already known to harbour a Neptune-mass planet. The astronomers have also strong evidence for the presence of a third planet with a mass about 8 Earth masses."

[What's a habitable zone?]

Happy Earth-like Extrasolar Planet Day!

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