Discovered in the Gliese 581 System, a new planet may be inhabitable (or inhabited)
By: Joshua Sampson, Contributing Writer
Our planet may not be as one of a kind as once thought, in fact, there may be many more like it. Astronomers announced a new planet has been discovered in the Goldilocks Zone of another solar system. The Goldilocks zone is the estimated place a planet has to be from a star so it’s not too hot, or too cold.
The planet orbits a Red Dwarf known as Gliese 581 and is roughly 120 million miles away from Earth. Scientists concluded that the life of the star still has billions of years before it turns Super Nova. The planet is being called Gliese 581g and has days and nights like earth. It is also 20-50 percent larger than our planet, and has an average orbit of 37 days. At the same time, it doesn’t rotate much. This leaves the planet vulnerable to extreme temperatures from Gliese 581 that vary from 160 degrees to 25 degrees.
Along the belt though, people could feasibly wear short sleeve shirts and be perfectly comfortable. This is the sixth planet found in the Goldilocks System. Other planets located were thought habitable but were then deemed environmentally unsound. One appeared too hot, and another appeared too cold. However this planet does look just right for habitation.
The findings were announced by the National Association of Science on Wednesday. At the moment it cannot be chemically analyzed due to atmospheric orientation. Since the planet was discovered with relative ease, our planet may not be as original as once thought. The estimated number is some 40 billion planets that could be like our own. The chance of life on other planets now, is very real.
It is not expected that a martian man will be seen anytime soon, but where there is water, there is life, and Gliese 581g appears to have water on its surface. The planet is also very far away, but the star in the neighboring solar system is expected to live on far past our own sun.
So discussion has begun on “What now?”