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September 30th, 2010 at 9:24 am

Earth-like Planet Discovered 20 Light Years Away

earth-like planet

Planet discovered in the “habitable zone”.

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Orbiting a nearby red dwarf star called Gliese 581 are 6 planets. One of them is a rocky ball, bigger than Earth, in the “habitable zone” where water is liquid and temperatures are human-friendly. It’s possible we could live there.

 

Unlike Earth, this planet called Gliese 581g, is “tidally locked” to its star. That means one side of the planet always faces the sun, and the other faces darkness. Temperatures on the two sides would be dramatically different, with the livable area in the “terminator” between day and night. Living on Gliese 581g would put you in an eternal twilight, which doesn’t sound bad at all. Temperatures in the terminator area might be between -24 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-31 to -12 degrees Celsius), which is the average temperature of the planet’s surface. So things would be a bit chilly, but if you could always visit the perma-sun on dayside if you needed a dose of red dwarf radiation.

Continue reading io9

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