Astronomers find first earth-like planet in habitable zone, outside our Solar System to date, an exoplanet with a radius only 50% larger than the Earth and capable of having liquid water. Using the ESO 3.6-m telescope, a team of Swiss, French and Portuguese scientists discovered a super-Earth about 5 times the mass of the Earth that orbits a red dwarf, already known to harbour a Neptune-mass planet. The astronomers have also strong evidence for the presence of a third planet with a mass about 8 Earth masses.
(Artistâ€™s impression of the planetary system around Gliese 581. Courtesy ESO.)
But remember, Gliese 581 is cooler than the Sun, so at this distance the planet would actually be very temperate: models show it would be between 0 and 40 Celsius! If that doesnâ€™t grab you, then consider this:
That is warm enough for water to be a liquid.
20 Light year away, a place just like home
- Temperature : -88 c to 58 c
- Rotation : 24 hours
- Home of many species
GL 581 c Facts:
- Temperature : 0 c to 40 c
- Rotation : Unknown
- Doe anybody lives there? â€“ No idea but it had habitable conditions for millions of years, I guess. The surface could be rocky with large oceans.
So what we may have here is a terrestrial planet with liquid water on its surface.