Earth-like planet found!



HATFIELD, England – In the search for Earth-like planets, astronomers zeroed in Tuesday on two places that look awfully familiar to home. One is close to the right size. The other is in the right place. European researchers said they not only found the smallest exoplanet ever, called Gliese 581 e, but realized that a neighboring planet discovered earlier, Gliese 581 d, was in the prime habitable zone for potential life.

"The Holy Grail of current exoplanet research is the detection of a rocky, Earth-like planet in the 'habitable zone,'" said Michel Mayor, an astrophysicist at Geneva University in Switzerland.

An American expert called the discovery of the tiny planet "extraordinary."

Gliese 581 e is only 1.9 times the size of Earth — while previous planets found outside our solar system are closer to the size of massive Jupiter, which NASA says could swallow more than 1,000 Earths.

Gliese 581 e sits close to the nearest star, making it too hot to support life. Still, Mayor said its discovery in a solar system 20 1/2 light years away from Earth is a "good example that we are progressing in the detection of Earth-like planets."

Scientists also discovered that the orbit of planet Gliese 581 d, which was found in 2007, was located within the "habitable zone" — a region around a sun-like star that would allow water to be liquid on the planet's surface, Mayor said.

He spoke at a news conference Tuesday at the University of Hertfordshire during the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science.

Gliese 581 d is probably too large to be made only of rocky material, fellow astronomer and team member Stephane Udry said, adding it was possible the planet had a "large and deep" ocean.

"It is the first serious 'water-world' candidate," Udry said.

Mayor's main planet-hunting competitor, Geoff Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley, praised the find of Gliese 581 e as "the most exciting discovery" so far of exoplanets — planets outside our solar system.

"This discovery is absolutely extraordinary," Marcy told The Associated Press by e-mail, calling the discoveries a significant step in the search for Earth-like planets.

While Gliese 581 e is too hot for life "it shows that nature makes such small planets, probably in large numbers," Marcy commented. "Surely the galaxy contains tens of billions of planets like the small, Earth-mass one announced here."

Nearly 350 planets have been found outside our solar system, but so far nearly every one of them was found to be extremely unlikely to harbor life.

Most were too close or too far from their sun, making them too hot or too cold for life. Others were too big and likely to be uninhabitable gas giants like Jupiter. Those that are too small are highly difficult to detect in the first place.

Both Gliese 581 d and Gliese 581 e are located in constellation Libra and orbit around Gliese 581.

Like other planets circling that star — scientists have discovered four so far — Gliese 581 e was found using the European Southern Observatory's telescope in La Silla, Chile.

The telescope has a special instrument which splits light to find wobbles in different wavelengths. Those wobbles can reveal the existence of other worlds.

"It is great work and shows the potential of this detection method," said Lisa Kaltenegger, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

___

Associated Press Science Writer Seth Borenstein contributed to this report from Washington.

82 Comments
82 Comments
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Posted by Attrition

Yahoo news ftw :)

Posted by King Saturn
Its like God Promised  !

Its the New Earth  !
Posted by danhimself

why do the newer planets that they discover have such crappy names.....the original nine were named after roman gods (except for earth i think)  but all the new ones are stupid numbers

Posted by DEGRAAF

my question is now that we found it how do we get there and how do we know for sure they they have liquid water and not some other liquid. They cant tell for sure from that far away. Im all for goin to mars and trying to terra form that planet but still they need to do alot more research. i think we should keep our mind on mars first than look beyond.

Posted by Rider Davidson

I think the gravity would still crush us.....

Posted by Yaujtapool

Hmmmm sounds good .

Posted by Hawk
Yaujtapool said:
"Hmmmm sounds good ."
getting crushed sounds good?
Posted by Erik
DEGRAAF said:
"my question is now that we found it how do we get there and how do we know for sure they they have liquid water and not some other liquid. They cant tell for sure from that far away. Im all for goin to mars and trying to terra form that planet but still they need to do alot more research. i think we should keep our mind on mars first than look beyond."
I highly doubt they would be looking to inhabit Gliese 581. It is far more likely that they are hoping to find life on that planet. The time it would take us to get there is beyond reasonable. 
Posted by Yaujtapool
Hawk said:
"Yaujtapool said:
"Hmmmm sounds good ."
getting crushed sounds good? "
No , finding an earth like planet sounds good but if getting crushed is your kinda thing then i would guess it sounds good too .
Posted by Kataklysmo
King Saturn said:
"Its like God Promised  !

Its the New Earth  !
"

God isn't real
Posted by Dane
Kataklysmo said:
"King Saturn said:
"Its like God Promised  !

Its the New Earth  !
"

God isn't real"


In this thread, my opinions shall be purported as facts.
Posted by Darkchild
King Saturn said:
"Its like God Promised  !

Its the New Earth  !
"
And like USA promised

"If you have money you are saved, and if you dont....your f@#ked."
Posted by King Saturn
Kataklysmo said:
"King Saturn said:
"Its like God Promised  !

Its the New Earth  !
"

God isn't real"
He is Sitting on my Couch right now...



Darkchild said:
"King Saturn said:
"Its like God Promised  !

Its the New Earth  !
"
And like USA promised"If you have money you are saved, and if you dont....your f@#ked.""
lmfao

Yup

Posted by Dane
Darkchild said:
"King Saturn said:
"Its like God Promised  !

Its the New Earth  !
"
And like USA promised"If you have money you are saved, and if you dont....your f@#ked.""

Don't like 'Freedom for the Rich'? DC is a communist!
Posted by Darkchild
Dane said:
"Darkchild said:
"King Saturn said:
"Its like God Promised  !

Its the New Earth  !
"
And like USA promised"If you have money you are saved, and if you dont....your f@#ked.""
Don't like 'Freedom for the Rich'? DC is a communist!"
HAHAHA yes im a commi. A DIRTY COMMI!!
Posted by Hardartist
Darkchild said:
"Dane said:
"Darkchild said:
"King Saturn said:
"Its like God Promised  !

Its the New Earth  !
"
And like USA promised"If you have money you are saved, and if you dont....your f@#ked.""
Don't like 'Freedom for the Rich'? DC is a communist!"
HAHAHA yes im a commi. A DIRTY COMMI!!"
C'mon, this is just rude.
Posted by the Vica
DEGRAAF said:
"my question is now that we found it how do we get there
Star Trek anyone?
Posted by Vrakmul
danhimself said:
"why do the newer planets that they discover have such crappy names.....the original nine were named after roman gods (except for earth i think)  but all the new ones are stupid numbers"
Too many planets to use the names of gods.  We'd rapidly exhaust them all. 
Posted by Vrakmul

If Glise D is mainly oceanic, then expect an invasion of hyperadvanced fish or cephalopod people, if they are cephalopods we'll all go insane.

Posted by Sleuth

lmao

Posted by Vrakmul

Remember all octopus people are Cthulhu's chosen.  That's why Octopi are so much more intelligent than fish and most people.  I'm serious, most people are complete idiots.  Also there is no such thing as nine planets in our solar system, there's only eight.

Posted by Vrakmul

Also is it earth like in that is has water and is blue-green, or is it earthlike in that it's full of self destructive @$$holes?

Posted by Calvin
Gliese 581 e is only 1.9 times the size of Earth
Great no need to go to the gym there!

DEGRAAF said:
"my question is now that we found it how do we get there and how do we know for sure they they have liquid water and not some other liquid. They cant tell for sure from that far away. Im all for goin to mars and trying to terra form that planet but still they need to do alot more research. i think we should keep our mind on mars first than look beyond."
It's not like Earth is a great name for a planet! ... but naming with numbers is just lame, maybe they should check out OGame to find some names!

Posted by King Saturn
I plan on traveling to the New Earth in 2010
Posted by Calvin
King Saturn said:
"I plan on traveling to the New Earth in 2010
"
would you mind if I tag along? where's your new earth, is it's star a red one? because I wouldn't like a planet where Kara couldn't visit me
Posted by King Saturn
Calvin said:
"King Saturn said:
"I plan on traveling to the New Earth in 2010
"
would you mind if I tag along? where's your new earth, is it's star a red one? because I wouldn't like a planet where Kara couldn't visit me"
lol

Its Star is actually Blue...
Posted by Calvin

Like the hope color!

How's the weather there? Food? And about gravity, what's the size of it?

Posted by King Saturn
Calvin said:
"Like the hope color!How's the weather there? Food? And about gravity, what's the size of it?"
Yep... and the Food and Physical Attributes of the New Earth are very simular to the Earth we are on now... 98.2 percent alike to be exact
Posted by Calvin

98.2 percent you say? so if the planet's 98.2% of Earth' size that means we will be stronger there, right?
What about fauna and flora? Any crazy plants? Never seen before creatures?

Posted by King Saturn
Calvin said:
"98.2 percent you say? so if the planet's 98.2% of Earth' size that means we will be stronger there, right?What about fauna and flora? Any crazy plants? Never seen before creatures?"
Yeah sort of... there are a lot of weird new creatures on this New Earth... I saw a Flying Turtle the other day when I went there as well as a Rabbit that could Talk...
Posted by Entropy

Earth was clearly made by chance, because the odds of a universe that was already created by some higher being, would easily have the chance of having all the requirements on the planet, such as water, air, temperature, and countless other things. So, if this happened by chance, what is to stop another "Earth" to be made, with all the exact same tolerances, because humans are such delicate creatures.

Answer: No chance.

Posted by Calvin
King Saturn said:
"Calvin said:
"98.2 percent you say? so if the planet's 98.2% of Earth' size that means we will be stronger there, right?What about fauna and flora? Any crazy plants? Never seen before creatures?"
Yeah sort of... there are a lot of weird new creatures on this New Earth... I saw a Flying Turtle the other day when I went there as well as a Rabbit that could Talk..."
I'm just not convinced about the name. It's just putting new in front of something that already exist. Do you have the official authority to propose a new name?
Posted by King Saturn
Calvin said:
"King Saturn said:
"Calvin said:
"98.2 percent you say? so if the planet's 98.2% of Earth' size that means we will be stronger there, right?What about fauna and flora? Any crazy plants? Never seen before creatures?"
Yeah sort of... there are a lot of weird new creatures on this New Earth... I saw a Flying Turtle the other day when I went there as well as a Rabbit that could Talk..."
I'm just not convinced about the name. It's just putting new in front of something that already exist. Do you have the official authority to propose a new name?"
Well from what I have seen... I have been calling the planet Heaven actually

lol
Posted by Calvin

Heaven it's taken. You need another name.

Posted by King Saturn
Calvin said:
"Heaven it's taken. You need another name."
lol

Planets can be called Heaven...
Posted by Calvin

Does the place have sentience inhabitants? How do they look? Do we have to learn another language? That would be so cool! An all-new culture, language, ideas and an all-different perspective over life and stuff

Posted by cly
Calvin said:
"Does the place have sentience inhabitants? How do they look? Do we have to learn another language? That would be so cool! An all-new culture, language, ideas and an all-different perspective over life and stuff"
Uh no.
Edited by King Saturn
Calvin said:
"Does the place have sentience inhabitants? How do they look? Do we have to learn another language? That would be so cool! An all-new culture, language, ideas and an all-different perspective over life and stuff"
That place is inhabited by Humanoid beings who have a 96.5 compatibility to are Homo Sapien form... meaning they look and have many physical characteristics that a very similar to us humans... though I must say there are other creatures there such as Fallen Angels that have a rather strange appearance... and as far as language they do speak a multitude of foriegn languages... though they also speak English as well... well some of them do...
Posted by Calvin

What about atlanteans like the ones in the Disney  movie? Those look nice with the  blue tattoo and powered crystals.
And info structures? Like fiber-optic through all the planet for Internet! And castles all over the place! And everything is like a RPG with classes and special abilities, and pocket dimensions to carry your stuff! Jet packs for everybody, and flying fishes! Dinosaurs to ride and race! And no sense of fashion so everybody can use whatever they want like superheroes do! Crazy maps, secret hideouts, ancient ruins, lightsabers and everybody can understand dolphins talking!

Posted by King Saturn
Calvin said:
"What about atlanteans like the ones in the Disney  movie? Those look nice with the  blue tattoo and powered crystals.And info structures? Like fiber-optic through all the planet for Internet! And castles all over the place! And everything is like a RPG with classes and special abilities, and pocket dimensions to carry your stuff! Jet packs for everybody, and flying fishes! Dinosaurs to ride and race! And no sense of fashion so everybody can use whatever they want like superheroes do! Crazy maps, secret hideouts, ancient ruins, lightsabers and everybody can understand dolphins talking! "
There Could Be... I havent totally scoped the whole Planet yet...
Posted by Calvin
King Saturn said:
"Calvin said:
"What about atlanteans like the ones in the Disney  movie? Those look nice with the  blue tattoo and powered crystals.And info structures? Like fiber-optic through all the planet for Internet! And castles all over the place! And everything is like a RPG with classes and special abilities, and pocket dimensions to carry your stuff! Jet packs for everybody, and flying fishes! Dinosaurs to ride and race! And no sense of fashion so everybody can use whatever they want like superheroes do! Crazy maps, secret hideouts, ancient ruins, lightsabers and everybody can understand dolphins talking! "
There Could Be... I havent totally scoped the whole Planet yet..."
Damn...now I'm over exited like if was ice cream day!
I bet Poison Ivy from Earth-3 lives theres. Just for the heck of it!

What about you? What else do you think is going on there?
Posted by King Saturn
Calvin said:
"King Saturn said:
"Calvin said:
"What about atlanteans like the ones in the Disney  movie? Those look nice with the  blue tattoo and powered crystals.And info structures? Like fiber-optic through all the planet for Internet! And castles all over the place! And everything is like a RPG with classes and special abilities, and pocket dimensions to carry your stuff! Jet packs for everybody, and flying fishes! Dinosaurs to ride and race! And no sense of fashion so everybody can use whatever they want like superheroes do! Crazy maps, secret hideouts, ancient ruins, lightsabers and everybody can understand dolphins talking! "
There Could Be... I havent totally scoped the whole Planet yet..."
Damn...now I'm over exited like if was ice cream day! I bet Poison Ivy from Earth-3 lives theres. Just for the heck of it!What about you? What else do you think is going on there?"
Well supposedly... Mr. Majestic was gonna have some type of Party there... Mortals and Immortals are welcomed to Come...

lol
Posted by Calvin

Great then I'll be there for sure!
I'll ask Pamela from Earth-3, Spidey from ultimate universe and Supergirl if they wanna come as well. I'll invite Obi-wan but he'll probabbly gona be off-planet...

Who else is going to be there?

Posted by SUNMAN

I am waiting till I see some more detailed and conclusive evidence before I make any real assumptions or jump  tp any wrong conclusions.  For alll I know this possible discover is way off. But I admit it is interesting.

Posted by Vrakmul

If you travel to the glise system, you should become accustomed to not seeing a moon, or any animals remotely resembling the ones you are familiar with, as well as taking a couple hundred to a couple thousand year long trip in suspended animation, and become accustomed to a vastly shorter lunar and solar cycle, that is much shorter months and years due to the proximity of all the planets to their small red dwarf. 

Posted by G'bandit

I'm pretty sure I come from that planet

Posted by Hardartist

I'd say we go the planet.

Posted by Calvin
@Hardartist said:
" I'd say we go the planet. "
Let's just do it.
Posted by SwaggaB0y

I'm from earth 5

Posted by CATMANEXE

awesome. we finally have something to test the nukes on and see if we really can blow up the planet.

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