New Earth Discovered! The Goldilocks Planet

User avatar
Saint_
Posts: 3311
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:05 pm
Location: The Four Corners

New Earth Discovered! The Goldilocks Planet

Post by Saint_ »

Could 'Goldilocks' planet be just right for life? - Yahoo! News



WASHINGTON – Astronomers say they have for the first time spotted a planet beyond our own in what is sometimes called the Goldilocks zone for life: Not too hot, not too cold. Juuuust right.

Not too far from its star, not too close. So it could contain liquid water. The planet itself is neither too big nor too small for the proper surface, gravity and atmosphere.

It's just right. Just like Earth.

"This really is the first Goldilocks planet," said co-discoverer R. Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The new planet sits smack in the middle of what astronomers refer to as the habitable zone, unlike any of the nearly 500 other planets astronomers have found outside our solar system. And it is in our galactic neighborhood, suggesting that plenty of Earth-like planets circle other stars.

Finding a planet that could potentially support life is a major step toward answering the timeless question: Are we alone?

Scientists have jumped the gun before on proclaiming that planets outside our solar system were habitable only to have them turn out to be not quite so conducive to life. But this one is so clearly in the right zone that five outside astronomers told The Associated Press it seems to be the real thing.

"This is the first one I'm truly excited about," said Penn State University's Jim Kasting. He said this planet is a "pretty prime candidate" for harboring life.

Life on other planets doesn't mean E.T. Even a simple single-cell bacteria or the equivalent of shower mold would shake perceptions about the uniqueness of life on Earth.

But there are still many unanswered questions about this strange planet. It is about three times the mass of Earth, slightly larger in width and much closer to its star — 14 million miles away versus 93 million. It's so close to its version of the sun that it orbits every 37 days. And it doesn't rotate much, so one side is almost always bright, the other dark.

Temperatures can be as hot as 160 degrees or as frigid as 25 degrees below zero, but in between — in the land of constant sunrise — it would be "shirt-sleeve weather," said co-discoverer Steven Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

It's unknown whether water actually exists on the planet, and what kind of atmosphere it has. But because conditions are ideal for liquid water, and because there always seems to be life on Earth where there is water, Vogt believes "that chances for life on this planet are 100 percent."





Woo Hoo! With ion-drive engines (already invented!) or hyperspatial engines, we're ready to move! All aboard for the new frontier!:D
User avatar
Lon
Posts: 9476
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 11:38 pm

New Earth Discovered! The Goldilocks Planet

Post by Lon »

Saint_;1335543 wrote: Could 'Goldilocks' planet be just right for life? - Yahoo! News



WASHINGTON – Astronomers say they have for the first time spotted a planet beyond our own in what is sometimes called the Goldilocks zone for life: Not too hot, not too cold. Juuuust right.

Not too far from its star, not too close. So it could contain liquid water. The planet itself is neither too big nor too small for the proper surface, gravity and atmosphere.

It's just right. Just like Earth.

"This really is the first Goldilocks planet," said co-discoverer R. Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The new planet sits smack in the middle of what astronomers refer to as the habitable zone, unlike any of the nearly 500 other planets astronomers have found outside our solar system. And it is in our galactic neighborhood, suggesting that plenty of Earth-like planets circle other stars.

Finding a planet that could potentially support life is a major step toward answering the timeless question: Are we alone?

Scientists have jumped the gun before on proclaiming that planets outside our solar system were habitable only to have them turn out to be not quite so conducive to life. But this one is so clearly in the right zone that five outside astronomers told The Associated Press it seems to be the real thing.

"This is the first one I'm truly excited about," said Penn State University's Jim Kasting. He said this planet is a "pretty prime candidate" for harboring life.

Life on other planets doesn't mean E.T. Even a simple single-cell bacteria or the equivalent of shower mold would shake perceptions about the uniqueness of life on Earth.

But there are still many unanswered questions about this strange planet. It is about three times the mass of Earth, slightly larger in width and much closer to its star — 14 million miles away versus 93 million. It's so close to its version of the sun that it orbits every 37 days. And it doesn't rotate much, so one side is almost always bright, the other dark.

Temperatures can be as hot as 160 degrees or as frigid as 25 degrees below zero, but in between — in the land of constant sunrise — it would be "shirt-sleeve weather," said co-discoverer Steven Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

It's unknown whether water actually exists on the planet, and what kind of atmosphere it has. But because conditions are ideal for liquid water, and because there always seems to be life on Earth where there is water, Vogt believes "that chances for life on this planet are 100 percent."





Woo Hoo! With ion-drive engines (already invented!) or hyperspatial engines, we're ready to move! All aboard for the new frontier!:D


And only 20 Light Years away----------------right next door

:-2
ZAP
Posts: 3081
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:25 pm

New Earth Discovered! The Goldilocks Planet

Post by ZAP »

Great information, Saint. Thank you.:-6
User avatar
Saint_
Posts: 3311
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:05 pm
Location: The Four Corners

New Earth Discovered! The Goldilocks Planet

Post by Saint_ »

Yeah, and with our Ion drive engines, we might just get to see it within our lifetimes!

Ion thruster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

K.Snyder
Posts: 10253
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 2:05 pm

New Earth Discovered! The Goldilocks Planet

Post by K.Snyder »

That close proximity and the way it was found so early in astronomers' search for habitable planets hints to scientists that planets like Earth are probably not that rare.

Vogt and Butler ran some calculations, with giant fudge factors built in, and figured that as much as one out of five to 10 stars in the universe have planets that are Earth-sized and in the habitable zone. Could 'Goldilocks' planet be just right for life? - Yahoo! NewsTell me something I don't know! :yh_rotfl

Honestly though, the mass being 3 times ours and with the star being 1/3 the power of the Sun means we need to know the precise age of it if we're to expect to see anything other than microbial life. I agree it's very fascinating.

On that does anyone have the idea we're being watched? Realized that we're the aliens yet?
Clodhopper
Posts: 5115
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:11 pm

New Earth Discovered! The Goldilocks Planet

Post by Clodhopper »

These are truly exciting times in the best sense. I expect we'll find many more such planets soon. I also suspect we will end up finding the "Goldilocks zone" is much smaller and more circumscribed than we thought.
The crowd: "Yes! We are all individuals!"

Lone voice: "I'm not."
K.Snyder
Posts: 10253
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 2:05 pm

New Earth Discovered! The Goldilocks Planet

Post by K.Snyder »

Clodhopper;1335847 wrote: These are truly exciting times in the best sense.


I agree, I was enthralled just by reading the simple possibility, regardless of past percentages.

I can't help but know that :thinking: Earth will become a Worldwide fret of neurosis when we do discover life on another planet, ever so incrementally increasing with the level of intelligence of course so that might be fun
Clodhopper
Posts: 5115
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:11 pm

New Earth Discovered! The Goldilocks Planet

Post by Clodhopper »

I can't help but know that Earth will become a Worldwide fret of neurosis when we do discover life on another planet, ever so incrementally increasing with the level of intelligence of course so that might be fun


chuckle. Yep. The discovery of intelligent life elsewhere ("cos there's bugger all down here on the Earth") would be the greatest event in human history.

Ooooh! Just read the ion engine article. I had no idea development had reached this level!
The crowd: "Yes! We are all individuals!"

Lone voice: "I'm not."
User avatar
spot
Posts: 38238
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: Brigstowe

New Earth Discovered! The Goldilocks Planet

Post by spot »

I'm not convinced that "it doesn't rotate much, so one side is almost always bright, the other dark" and "New Earth Discovered!" belong in the same thread, to be honest.
Nullius in verba|||||||||||
Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!
Clodhopper
Posts: 5115
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:11 pm

New Earth Discovered! The Goldilocks Planet

Post by Clodhopper »

I'm not convinced that "it doesn't rotate much, so one side is almost always bright, the other dark" and "New Earth Discovered!" belong in the same thread, to be honest.


chuckle. Pedant! I'd call it justifiable overstatement, I think. Or perhaps the British Empire, because on it, the sun never sets.
The crowd: "Yes! We are all individuals!"

Lone voice: "I'm not."

Return to “Space and Astronomy”