At 20 light-years away from us open the planet on which life can exist


19/05/2011

Planets that are part of the solar system of the red dwarf star Gliese 581 (Gliese 581), one of the closest star to our Sun in the galaxy, have been the subject of many studies aimed at the detection of the first potentially habitable exoplanet. Two candidates have already rejected, but the third planet, Gliese 581d, can be considered the first confirmed exoplanet, where life could exist in its earthly sense. That was the conclusion a team of scientists from the institute named after Pierre-Simon Laplace in Paris, France, whose research is published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Are there other inhabited planets like Earth, or at least habitable? The discovery of the first habitable planet has become a goal of many astrophysicists, who sought to find Earth-like planets in the "habitable zone" around stars (the range of distances at which the temperature is not too high and not too low for the development of life).

And a planet discovered team, led by Steven Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz. They announced the discovery of a new planet, called Gliese 581g, or ’Zarmina World’. This planet in mass comparable to Earth, and is located close to the center of the habitable zone. Over the next few months, it seemed that there was a potential sister opened the first Earth outside our solar system. Unfortunately, the subsequent analysis of the independent teams, raised serious doubts about this. Many believe that Gliese 581g may not exist at all. And that was mistaken for evidence of a planet, it was just a noise in an extremely precise measurements of vibrations star for determining the existence of extrasolar planets in this system.

And only now been discovered older sister Gliese 581g, more distant and large Gliese 581d, which is potentially habitable exoplanet, as shown by Robin Wordsworth, Francois Forget and their staff from the Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique of the Institute of the Pierre-Simon Laplace in Paris. While this is likely to planet Earth-like, its mass is greater than the Earth’s at least seven times, and the size is twice the size of our planet.

Scientists particularly pleased with the fact that Gliese 581d is only 20 light years from Earth and is one of our closest neighbors in the galaxy. Although today, getting there does not seem possible, because even the most distant man-made spacecraft, Voyager 1, would be able to get there just after 300 000 years. However, future telescopes, it is possible, will directly record the presence of the atmosphere on the planet.

Original: Sciencedaily


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