Earth like planet found in Habitable Zone capable of having liquid water

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.
The Planetary System Around Gliese 581
(Artist’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 doesn’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

Earth facts:

  • 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? – 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.

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