Label: Planets

October 1, 2010

NASA has annnounced that a team of planet hunters including scientists from the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s teams has discovered a planet with three times the mass of Earth orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star’s “habitable zone,” an area where liquid water could exist on the planet’s surface. If confirmed, this would be the most Earth-like exoplanet yet discovered, and the first strong case for a potentially habitable one.

What is a "Goldilocks" planet? A planet that is not too hot, not too cold, but JUST RIGHT for life as we know it to exist. This is the first exoplanet discovered that is just right!  This is very exciting news because it means that Goldilocks Planets may be very common in the Milky Way Galaxy. Just think: Science Fiction authors may have been right all along in their stories about life on distant stars. 

The large planet in the foreground of this artist’s image is the newly discovered GJ 581g.  Image Credit: Lynette Cook/NASA



Posted by: Seymour Simon

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