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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402 Comments
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  • rowr131313
    rowr131313Friday, November 18, 2016 at 8:36 am
    Actually it wont take 100 years to reach it because NASA is working on a spaceship that it will only take about 20 years to go about 2.7(I can't remember how far away it was) trillion light years or miles away.
    • sushi9
      sushi9Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 10:54 am
      the planet is 20 light years from earth. it take like 100 years to reach the planet
      • AlienSaturday, February 6, 2016 at 5:25 pm
        That's my home!
        • saanvi
          saanviMonday, May 11, 2015 at 7:51 am
          I want to meet other creatures
          • thatboy
            thatboyTuesday, March 24, 2015 at 6:45 am
            Nice
            • raviWednesday, March 11, 2015 at 4:27 pm
              i <3 space! my wall says that too!
              • raviWednesday, March 11, 2015 at 4:27 pm
                cool!
                • werewolfWednesday, March 11, 2015 at 4:26 pm
                  my sister loves space, she's been jabbering away to my parents all day about it
                  • werewolfWednesday, March 11, 2015 at 4:25 pm
                    awesome! i really wanna meet other people! :)
                    • bigmelo
                      bigmeloSunday, March 1, 2015 at 4:33 pm
                      Hey, wait a minute. I just read an article about this in my English class! That's weird... is it just a coincidence? :D

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