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Astronomers find new planet capable of supporting life
TELEGRAPH UK ^ | 04-27-2012 | Staff

Posted on 04/27/2012 11:32:10 AM PDT by Red Badger

Astronomers have discovered their "holy grail" - a planet capable of supporting life outside our solar system.

The planet lies in what they describe as a 'habitable zone', neither too near its sun to dry out or too far away which freezes it.

And the discovery could help answer the question of whether we are alone in the universe, which has been plagued astronomers and alien fanatics for years.

Scientists found the planet, Gliese 667Cc, orbiting around a red dwarf star, 22 light years away from the earth.

Red dwarf stars are the most common stars in the neighbourhood of the sun, usually hosting planets called gas giants, which are not composed of rock matter.

Re-analysing data from the European Southern Observatory, the astronomers found Gliese 667Cc is a solid planet with roughly four and a half times the mass of Earth.

The University Göttingen and University of California scientists have calculated the planet recieves ten per cent less light from its red dwarf star than the Earth gets from the Sun.

As the light is in the infrared area, the planet still receives nearly the same amount of energy as the Earth, meaning water could be liquid and surface temperatures could be similar to ours.

Astronomers are hailing the plant as the 'Holy Grail' of discoveries, as 20 years ago scientists were still arguing about the existence of planets beyond our solar system.

Since the discovery of the first extrasolar planet in 1995, astronomers have confirmed the existence of more than 760 planets beyond the solar system, with only four believed to be in a habitable zone.

One of the most successful tools of planet hunters is the High Accuracy Radial Planetary Searcher (HARPS) telescope, which measures the radial velocity of a star.

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Technical; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: astronomy; cosmology; religion; space
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To: lurk
Only 20 light years away? Piece of cake. Let’s fill up the Buick and go see it

LOL!!

41 posted on 04/27/2012 12:22:14 PM PDT by ScottinVA (Virgil Goode 2012)
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To: Red Badger

Well so what? God must have created such a vast universe to support life. It sure wasn’t needed by Him, the angels or earth’s people.


42 posted on 04/27/2012 12:26:45 PM PDT by ex-snook ("above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: InterceptPoint
Yikes!!! Only 22 light years away. In that case we should be on the lookout for very noisy reruns of I Love Lucy beaming to us from space. Or Double Yikes. They could have been listening to our radio broadcasts from the 30’s or earlier and already be here with their just sub-luminal drive spaceships. Hide your Al Jolson records just for safety’s sake.

It sort of amusing to think if they are monitoring our TV and Radio signals, they just saw the fall of the Berlin Wall (and good music is still on MTV) as far as they are concerned all of this is just happening "now", even though it's been 22 years for us.

43 posted on 04/27/2012 12:36:00 PM PDT by apillar
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To: ohiobuckeye1997

[ Bad news is whatever you weigh now would be multiplied by 4.5 if you stepped out on that planet. If you weigh 180 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 810 pounds on that planet. ]

BZZT WRONG, the gravity depends on the density of the planet and mass and distance from the center of the planet. The Planet would have higher gravity than the earth, but it would be a less than 4.5G. Probably between 1.6 - 2.8 Gs


44 posted on 04/27/2012 12:38:02 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: Vaquero

Remember when she did that ERA commercial ( WITH both the caped castrators in tow) where she claimed to be “ paid less than Robin”?

She should have gone ahead and let that bomb go off....


45 posted on 04/27/2012 12:38:29 PM PDT by clbiel (Islamophobia: The irrational fear of being decapitated)
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To: ohiobuckeye1997
Bad news is whatever you weigh now would be multiplied by 4.5 if you stepped out on that planet. If you weigh 180 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 810 pounds on that planet.

In other words, it can support life, but life as we know it couldn't support itself...

46 posted on 04/27/2012 12:43:18 PM PDT by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
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To: clbiel

No. I don’t remember

Still mighty fine Green Orion eye candy


47 posted on 04/27/2012 12:46:05 PM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Red Badger
ten per cent less light from its red dwarf star

And heavier gravity. So someone from there that was sun powered might be super on earth.

48 posted on 04/27/2012 12:53:21 PM PDT by techcor (I hope Obama succeeds, in being a one term president.)
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To: Vaquero
Very interesting. The habitable zone a idea taken from an Intelligent Design book/video, the Privileged Planet. However, there a a great number of other factors needed to come close to the Earth as a planet that can support life.
49 posted on 04/27/2012 12:53:32 PM PDT by cotton
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To: Izzy Dunne
Why would anybody live on a planet with such a weird name?

The real question is...Is it Mostly Harmless?


50 posted on 04/27/2012 12:59:36 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (I will not comply. I will NEVER submit.)
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To: cotton

Just exactly WHAT are you talking about??

A SciFi movie??

The scientists call Earth, in the Goldilocks Zone ..not too hot...not too cold

I don’t see what ID has to do with any of it.


51 posted on 04/27/2012 1:05:39 PM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Red Badger

Budget season already?

This and the Space Shuttle over NYC. Funny how that works out.


52 posted on 04/27/2012 1:07:25 PM PDT by Forgotten Amendments (Let's name a law after a kid who died because of CAFE standards!)
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To: Red Badger

Big deal. How much can LIFE weigh anyway? Now MONOPOLY, there’s a heavy game.....put a few hotels on the board and see if that planet can hold it up.


53 posted on 04/27/2012 1:08:42 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: techcor

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2876751/posts


54 posted on 04/27/2012 1:12:33 PM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: blueunicorn6

Have you played the new version of Life lately?..............


55 posted on 04/27/2012 1:14:16 PM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: GatĂșn(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)

There are some things that can certainly be known, given some known accuracy of the instruments.

Matters such as the orbits of distant objects and the nature of the stars they are orbiting are not things that can be fudged. Orbital mechanics is also very well understood and has been checked and rechecked ad infinitum. Its why we can reliably get spacecraft to our own stars planets.

Global warming theories depend on much more fuzzy concepts and complex processes (and hence being much closer to pure speculation) than those we are discussing here.


56 posted on 04/27/2012 1:14:44 PM PDT by buwaya
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To: Red Badger
They are here..... now.

We must learn to communicate with them on earth if we have any hope at all of communicating with them across space


57 posted on 04/27/2012 1:28:56 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: cotton

You’re absolutely right.

The habitable zone of red dwarf stars is so close to the stellar body that planets occupying this area are almost invariably tidally-locked and have a single face toward the sun. This in and of itself makes the planet unlikely to be habitable because massive temperature differences between the light and dark sides create tremendous winds as the atmosphere (if there even is one) stuggles to find temperature equilibrium.

Further, a tidally-locked planet is unlikely to have sufficient magenetic field due to a hugely diminished dyanamo effect to prevent the solar wind from stripping any atmostphere to begin with.

I suspect no matter what the hype, this planet at the very best is no more inviting than Mars. It is certainly not another Earth.

Too bad...A planet able to sustain humanity orbiting a red dwarf would be a huge insurance policy against extinction because they’ll burn for trillions of years. Our sun will be too brige for our oceans to remain liquid in mere hundreds of millions.


58 posted on 04/27/2012 1:48:13 PM PDT by Heavyrunner (Socialize this.)
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To: Red Badger

A trip like that needs wine, women and song. And a few friends.


59 posted on 04/27/2012 2:13:33 PM PDT by Redcitizen (Ya'ah teh Shi kis' !)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Its mostly harmless...if you have a towel.


60 posted on 04/27/2012 2:15:47 PM PDT by Redcitizen (Ya'ah teh Shi kis' !)
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