April 24, 2007

A Potentially Habitable Earth-like World

From Centauri Dreams, a historic discovery has been made of a potentially habitable earth-like planet around the star Gliese 581 (20.5 light years from us). The planet is about five times Earth mass, one whose radius is only 1.5 times that of our own world.


bw said...

Over at accelerating future, Michael Anissimov asked why is this discovery important?

I think more facts about what actually makes up our stellar neighborhood will fire up some imaginations and other motivations (for those who are not already motivated) to get serious about doing more in our solar system.

It is like we have been around a campfire on an island oasis. Then we build devices to see around what appear to be other islands with at least areas with the conditions for fresh water and an oasis.

At the very least money and motivation for the super-scopes that would be straight forward to make. The terrestrial planet finder budget has been shakey and might have been cut. Get the scopes off the drawing board.

It only took fictional shows and movies like Star Trek to fire up a lot of imaginations and efforts that brought a lot of useful things to reality. Hopefully things like this and hopefully the discovery of liquid water and some microbes on Mars could help shifting people to start making real space development