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New "Super Earth" Found at Right Distance for Life
National Geographic ^ | February 2, 2012 | Rachel Kaufman

Posted on 02/03/2012 7:27:00 PM PST by Clintonfatigued

The planet, dubbed GJ 667Cc, orbits a red dwarf star 22 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Scorpio. A binary pair of orange dwarf stars are part of the same system.

(Related: "'Tatooine' Planet With Two Suns Could Host Habitable Moon?")

The new planet has a mass 4.5 times that of Earth and orbits its host star every 28 days.

The red dwarf is relatively dim, so the planet receives slightly less light from its star than Earth does from the sun. But most of the star's light is infrared, so the planet should absorb more of its incoming energy than Earth does from sunlight.

That means if the planet has a rocky surface—which is predicted for planets less than ten times Earth's mass—and an atmosphere, it could support liquid water and maybe life, said co-discoverer Guillem Anglada-Escudé, who conducted the work while at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.

"If it has an atmosphere, it's probably reddish all the time, because the star is really red," Anglada-Escudé said. "It would be like being evening all the time."

For any hypothetical observers on the surface, the binary stars in the distance would be "very prominent in the sky, and it would be an exotic thing."

(Excerpt) Read more at news.nationalgeographic.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: gj667cc; scorpio; tatooine; xplanets
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1 posted on 02/03/2012 7:27:06 PM PST by Clintonfatigued
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To: fieldmarshaldj; Impy; GOPsterinMA; little jeremiah

If this is true, it’s the biggest news story of our lifetime.


2 posted on 02/03/2012 7:28:22 PM PST by Clintonfatigued (A chameleon belongs in a pet store, not the White House)
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To: Clintonfatigued
No woman would want to have a birthday every 28 days.

*You're how old????

3 posted on 02/03/2012 7:31:34 PM PST by Deaf Smith
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To: Clintonfatigued

Krypton? It fits the profile.


4 posted on 02/03/2012 7:31:34 PM PST by steve8714 (Yoda's speech to Luke copied from Jack Webb in "The D.I.")
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To: Clintonfatigued; writer33

Would it also have 4.5 times the gravity?

talk about sagging!!


5 posted on 02/03/2012 7:35:13 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Clintonfatigued

I don’t care how fast it’s moving or how sunset lit or what the tax code is there, I’m ready to GO.


6 posted on 02/03/2012 7:36:14 PM PST by txhurl ('We need to be sudden and relentless.' Save the canons for the whites of their eyes.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

They don’t know if it has an atmosphere, if it has water, what it’s composed of, a thousand other ifs and whats that any one of which could rule out life. All they know is its mass and approximate temperature.


7 posted on 02/03/2012 7:36:39 PM PST by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: Clintonfatigued

“If this is true, it’s the biggest news story of our lifetime.”

Do you really think so? As soon as one planet was discovered around one star anywhere outside the solar system, that meant our solar system is not a one off. And that means it was a virtual certainty that planets in the “habitable zone” would be found eventually.

This discovery is only that it’s possible the planet is neither freezing nor cooking and therefore might have liquid water.


8 posted on 02/03/2012 7:37:31 PM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: Telepathic Intruder

Little rules out life. That just means that it wouldn’t be suitable for us to inhabit.


9 posted on 02/03/2012 7:40:31 PM PST by wastedyears (Not too long you devious little parathyroid. Soon I'll be rid of you and I'll be free.)
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To: SunkenCiv

/mark


10 posted on 02/03/2012 7:42:20 PM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: ModelBreaker

It’s really only a matter of time before extraterrestrial life is discovered.

Boy am I excited.


11 posted on 02/03/2012 7:44:13 PM PST by Downinthedixie (ABO)
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To: Clintonfatigued

“If this is true, it’s the biggest news story of our lifetime.”
______________________________________________

If what is true?
We have been discovering stars with planets for several years now.
It would be big news only if life is found on one or more.
Who could spend 20 years or so to go see them?


12 posted on 02/03/2012 7:45:00 PM PST by AlexW
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To: AlexW

20 or so years???

Try like many many lifetimes. We do not have the technology YET to even get close.


13 posted on 02/03/2012 7:46:57 PM PST by Downinthedixie (ABO)
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To: wastedyears

I disagree a little bit. I think life is only possible within a narrow range of conditions, such as our own. It requires information to be stored and copied billions of times over. Carbon molecules can do that, but probably nothing else in this universe, the physical laws being what they are.


14 posted on 02/03/2012 7:50:10 PM PST by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: Downinthedixie
.

You're excited about EXTRATERRESTRIAL life?

Boring !!! ..... Boring !!! Now, if you said EXTRAMARITAL, I could understand the excitent,

15 posted on 02/03/2012 7:52:37 PM PST by jmax
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To: Downinthedixie

“Try like many many lifetimes. We do not have the technology YET to even get close.”

We would have to develop warp drive first. The idea is to somehow shrink space/time in front of your space ship and expand it behind. Then you could go faster than light.

If we used near light speed it would take something like 60,000 years to get to the closes star, let alone one of the cool habitable planets they are finding.


16 posted on 02/03/2012 7:54:42 PM PST by garjog (If not Newt, who?)
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To: Downinthedixie
.

And, by the way, Dixie >>>>>>>>> ROLL TIDE.

17 posted on 02/03/2012 7:56:21 PM PST by jmax
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To: jmax

Lol. I dig the extramarital but cmon...if we can find organic molecules then it is almost a mathematical certainty that intelligent life will also exist somewhere.

Sorry I’m sort of an astronomy nerd.


18 posted on 02/03/2012 7:56:29 PM PST by Downinthedixie (ABO)
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To: Clintonfatigued

19 posted on 02/03/2012 7:57:06 PM PST by garjog (If not Newt, who?)
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To: AlexW

“...Who could spend 20 years or so to go see them?...”
-
That’s 22 light years away...ain’t nobody gonna be going.


20 posted on 02/03/2012 8:01:15 PM PST by Repeal The 17th (We have met the enemy and he is us.)
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