Skip to comments.Five potential habitable exoplanets now
Posted on 07/20/2012 11:14:12 AM PDT by Red Badger
New data suggest the confirmation of the exoplanet Gliese 581g and the best candidate so far of a potential habitable exoplanet. The nearby star Gliese 581 is well known for having four planets with the outermost planet, Gliese 581d, already suspected habitable. This will be the first time evidence for any two potential habitable exoplanets orbiting the same star. Gliese 581g will be included, together with Gliese 667Cc, Kepler-22b, HD85512, and Gliese 581d, in the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog of the PHL @ UPR Arecibo as the best five objects of interest for Earth-like exoplanets.
Doubts about the existence of Gliese 581g appeared only two weeks after its announcement on September 29, 2010 by astronomers of the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey. Scientists from the HARPS Team from the Geneva Observatory, which discovered all the previously known four planets around Gliese 581, were not able to detect Gliese 581g out of their own data, which included additional observations. Further analysis by others scientists also questioned the existence of Gliese 581g in the last two years.
Now the original discoverers of Gliese 581g, led by Steven S. Vogt of UC Santa Cruz, present a new analysis with an extended dataset from the HARPS instrument that shows more promising evidence for its existence. The new analysis strength their original assumption that all the planets around Gliese 581 are in circular and not elliptical orbits as currently believed. It is under this likely assumption that the Gliese 581g signal appears in the new data.
This signal has a False Alarm Probability of < 4% and is consistent with a planet of minimum mass 2.2M [Earth masses], orbiting squarely in the stars Habitable Zone at 0.13 AU, where liquid water on planetary surfaces is a distinct possibility said Vogt.
Based on the new data Gliese 581g probably has a radius not larger than 1.5 times Earth radii. It receives about the same light flux as Earth does from the Sun due to its closer orbital position around a dim red dwarf star. These factors combine to make Gliese 581g the most Earth-like planet known with an Earth Similarity Index, a measure of Earth-likeness from zero to one, of 0.92 and higher than the previously top candidate Gliese 667Cc, discovered last year.
The controversy around Gliese 581g will continue and we decided to include it to our main catalog based on the new significant evidence presented, and until more is known about the architecture of this interesting stellar system said Abel Méndez, Director of the PHL @ UPR Arecibo.
Authors on the original paper are Steven S. Vogt, UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC; Paul Butler, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution; and Nader Haghighipour of the Institute for Astronomy and NASA Astrobiology Institute. Their research is published online on July 20, 2012 in the journal Astronomical Notes, 333, No. 7, 561-575.
Artistic representation of all the five known potential habitable worlds including now Gliese 581g, the best candidate for an Earth-like exoplanet so far. All of these planets are superterrans (aka Super-Earths) with masses estimated between two and ten Earth masses. Numbers below the planet names correspond to their similarity with Earth as measured in a scale from zero to one with the Earth Similarity Index, one being identical to Earth.
Comparison of the estimated relative size and orbits of the five exoplanets around Gliese 581. The green shade represent the size of the habitable zone, or the orbital region where an Earth-size planet could have surface liquid water. Planets e, b, and c are too hot for liquid water and life but g and d are in the habitable zone. Planet g is specially in the right spot for Earth-like conditions while d is marginally within these limits, and colder. This is the first case of a stellar system with two potential habitable exoplanets orbiting the same star.
And only 20 light years away!
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Good article. Must be the writer has a fair amount of scientific knowledge and didn’t over sensationalize it.
hey, you want privacy, you gotta commute.
We should send a probe tomorrow. My children’s children might someday know for sure if their children’s children could live there in about the year 2200.
The most “Earth-like” planet ever discovered is named Venus. Similar mass, radius, density and just a little bit closer to the sun than Earth. If only Venus had a magnetic field and a moon it would probably be habitable.
I suspect that most if not all of the “Earth-like” exoplanets are actually “Venus-like” or “Mars-like.”
I have my doubts that any superterrans can foster life. If the planet is too big, most likely the core will be some material other than iron and have little or no magnetic field. No magnetic field means no protection from solar wind which means no atmosphere. I’d like to see an analysis of what size range of planets have the proper gravity to create an iron core.
At warp 5 we could get there in 4 years!..........
“Habitable” in my book means walking around, breathing air not living in a spacecraft and/or wearing a space suit.
Thousands of parameters need to be just right to consider another planet, “habitable”.
Earth is special.
You need to recheck your warp factor calculations. At warp 5 we could get there in less than two months (one month if we have one of those new fangled 24th Century warp drive engines).
I suspect that the number of parameters that have to perfectly coincide to make a habitable planet is in trillions. Even the list of known variables is pretty lengthy - size, mass, atmosphere, magnetic field, distance from the sun, type of sun, a relatively large moon to create tides, outer gas giants to block some of the debris, radiation from neighboring stars, etc.
Of course, we have no way to know how rare Earth is until we actually find another one. Until then it is all speculation.
How long is the trip at Ludicrous Speed?
I remember hearing years ago, that a 2% deviation in earth’s orbit would render it inhabitable.
Would an orbit only .13 AUs not be tidal locked? Therefore only one side would get constant sunlight, while the other hemisphere would be in constant darkness?
While life could exist on such a world, I think it wouldn’t be Earth-like.
That chart won’t be in effect until the 23rd century. As of right no, though, ‘warp 5’ will be simply 5 times the speed of light until further discoveries are made in quantum mechanics and string theory that allow for more apparent speed............
It was once thought that Mercury was a planet that showed only one face to the Sun at all times.
For many years it was thought that Mercury was synchronously tidally locked with the Sun, rotating once for each orbit and always keeping the same face directed towards the Sun, in the same way that the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth. Radar observations in 1965 proved that the planet has a 3:2 spinorbit resonance, rotating three times for every two revolutions around the Sun; the eccentricity of Mercurys orbit makes this resonance stableat perihelion, when the solar tide is strongest, the Sun is nearly still in Mercurys sky.
The original reason astronomers thought it was synchronously locked was that, whenever Mercury was best placed for observation, it was always nearly at the same point in its 3:2 resonance, hence showing the same face. This is because, coincidentally, Mercury’s rotation period is almost exactly half of its synodic period with respect to Earth. Due to Mercury’s 3:2 spinorbit resonance, a solar day (the length between two meridian transits of the Sun) lasts about 176 Earth days. A sidereal day (the period of rotation) lasts about 58.7 Earth days.
Simulations indicate that the orbital eccentricity of Mercury varies chaotically from nearly zero (circular) to more than 0.45 over millions of years due to perturbations from the other planets. This is thought to explain Mercury’s 3:2 spin-orbit resonance (rather than the more usual 1:1), since this state is more likely to arise during a period of high eccentricity. Numerical simulations show that a future secular orbital resonant perihelion interaction with Jupiter may cause the eccentricity of Mercury’s orbit to increase to the point where there is a 1% chance that the planet may collide with Venus within the next five billion years.
It’s right next door via wormhole.
But first you gotta create the wormhole.
That’ll take another hundred years, at least.........
Re :I remember hearing years ago, that a 2% deviation in earths orbit would render it inhabitable.
I read a short time ago that there are at lease 13 earth parameters that if differed by the slightest, we would not be here
Hi Fred! I’m ready to go if we leave all the leftists behind.
Or a good archeological dig at Gisa.
Only un til and say you did. Click the pic.
If we start now we can get there is no time at all.
Actually the trip would be ~23 months- the warp factor is the cube root of the c multiple.
Oops, bad math. The trip would take about 7 1/2 weeks.
In a tidal lock there *might* be a habitable zone around the terminator but the weather would be pretty extreme.
Thanks Red Badger.
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I clicked the pic, and I’ve saved it to read later. It’s too late this evening to get into it now, but it does look quite appealing and interesting.
Thank you so much, Fred!
when they identify an exo entirely made of chocolate I’ll go
“Five potential edible planets now”
And only be cuz I like you. There are certain lies, misconceptions and otherwise total bullshit in some of the editorialism in the link.
Don’t be taken in by that.
They’ve gone to plaid!!
Got the reference. Hee hee. :)
I’m with you there, if it’s 100% cacao. Mmmm... “edible planets.”
Yes, well. Haven’t we been wading through and ignoring media lies for forty years? Don’t worry, dear.
I'm glad I saw your post before I went to the time and trouble of doing the math.
Sorry, but Bubba's right. Warp speed is exponential. Warp 2 is twice as fast as warp one. Warp 3 is twice as fast as warp two....etc.
It's just one of those weird things you 'know' after watching Star Trek for 46 years. LOL!
Those and 800 degrees cooler, no sulfuric acid rain, and 10 or so less atmospheres of surface pressure.
Not only would you enjoy all the comforts of upscale living, you and the other millions of fellow passengers would arrive within the week (assuming local displacement was within the ship's range).
If you were in a hurry, perhaps you could enlist the ship's avatar to request the services of a Superlifter and arrive within days ... if you were not bored by the vast ranges of entertainment aboard, and were not in a hurry, you might request to stop off an Orbital where you could do things like mountain climbing.
Those “Star Trek” vessels are so slow, small, cramped, generally limited, and awkward, why would any self-respecting traveler pick that form of travel?
Although why anyone would want to visit such backwaters like 667Cc, Kepler-22b, HD85512, Gliese 581d, and Gliese 581 is beyond me.
I've heard that the GSVs “Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The” (Plate Class), “Quietly Confident” (Plate Class), and the “Sleeper Service” (Plate Class) are in the neighborhood... perhaps they are going your way?
General Systems Vehicles (GSVs) are the Culture's largest type of ship, ranging between 25 km and 200 km in each dimension (including the fields protecting them and forming the exterior of their life-support system). GSVs which provide accommodation for biological members of the Culture generally have populations in the millions or even billions, and can be considered worlds in their own right.
System Class: (multiple separate components suspended in a force field up to 200 km long).
Plate Class: (53 km long, 22 km wide, 4 km thick, or, including fields, up to 90 km long, 60 km wide, 20 km thick).
If for some reason you suspect a spot of trouble, I suggest having the GSV: (System Class - Special Circumstances) “Hubris Knows No Bounds” (heavily militarized) along. and perhaps a Rapid Offensive Unit (Killer Class) along - just in case ...
As of right no, though, warp 5 will be simply 5 times the speed of light until further discoveries are made ...
5 Lights per Year? Why go Star Trek when you could go Culture - ships routinely travel at 100 KiloLightsHour and the Sleeper Service (if avallible) does upto 223 KLH (faster with a tow from a Superlifter) ... Those Trek ships are such antiques.
What lore are you getting that from?
The Player of Games
Use of Weapons
The State of the Art
Look to Windward
Also but not in the Culture universe (perhaps adjacent): The Algebraist.
Gonna read at least one of those. Thanks!