Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold - Have Scientists Finally Found The 'Goldilocks' Planet?

By Meera Dolasia on October 1, 2010

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It's not too hot, not too cold, not too large, not too small, not too far from its star, not too close . . . . . . In short, it is perfect, should we dare say it? To harbor life! At least that's the opinion of two smart astronomers - And many others seem to agree with them.

Discovered by Paul Butler from The Carnegie Institution of Washington and Steve Vogt from U.C. Santa Cruz, the Gliese 581G lies 20 light years or about 120 trillion miles away from Earth. It is about three and a half times the size of earth, slightly wider and seems to have both gravity and atmosphere.

However, there are stll many things that we don't know about the new planet. It is much closer to its star, Gliese 581 (no G!) - about 14 million miles away as opposed to the 93 million miles that lie between the Sun and our planet. But, the scientists believe that is not a problem, because the Gliese 581 is a dwarf star and hence, not as intense as our Sun.

Thanks to the shorter distance, the Gliese 581G takes only 37 days to orbit around the sun. However, unlike Earth, it doesn't rotate fully on its own axis, which means that half of the planet gets 24-hour sunlight and is probably very hot, while the other half, is always dark and freezing.

Also not known for sure, is if the Gliese 581G has any water or if the gas its  atmospthere is made up of, is capable of supporting life.

The Gliese 581G is the sixth planet that has been discovered revolving around the dwarf star Gliese 581 and, is not the first to have created this kind of excitement. Not too long ago, scientists believed that Gliese 581C was perfect to sustain life, only to later discover that is was too hot.

Will Gliese 581G finally be the Holy Grail that scientists have been searching for  many years? Who knows, but it is always fun to speculate and then imagine what kind of life lives on it. Of course, to the scientists, even a single-celled amoeba is evidence of life, but we are hoping it's a little more exciting than that!

sources: news.yahoo.com,csmonitor.com

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389 Comments
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  • nickThursday, February 19, 2015 at 7:27 am
    this is awesome
    • CindySunday, January 25, 2015 at 1:09 pm
      cool
      • aliceSunday, January 11, 2015 at 6:21 pm
        cool
        • aliceSunday, January 11, 2015 at 6:20 pm
          can we go to the planet does it have oxygeon ? :?}
          • leap411
            leap411Sunday, December 28, 2014 at 10:24 pm
            Why do we have to move to another planet possibly?
            • coolWednesday, December 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm
              wowww............
              • nikukyu
                nikukyuThursday, November 13, 2014 at 1:14 am
                Ooooooo just right
                • krozman
                  krozmanMonday, October 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm
                  My dream has been to actually understand that another Earth with other.............. US, could be on it. Woudn't be suprised to find that some of the same species live there, or simillar species. Since the Universe so big, yet so small the chances are limited that more humans could actually live there. Since the artist didn't include the fact that there may be some lighting there, that species that is there could be more ahead of us, more.... intelligent. Just can't wait to see what else is ahead of our Universe
                  • cinderllea
                    cinderlleaSunday, January 25, 2015 at 1:28 pm
                    maybe
                  • Star FireFriday, September 19, 2014 at 1:58 pm
                    So cool
                    • lavishaFriday, September 19, 2014 at 1:58 pm
                      twlightmist how did u get ur picture like that?

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