Life beyond Earth??

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    ‘Earth-like’ planet discovered

    An Earth-like planet that could be covered in oceans and may support life has been discovered outside the Solar System.

    The new world, which is 20.5 light years away, orbits a region with the right temperature to allow liquid water on its surface.

    Scientists believe it is only 1.5 times larger and five times more massive than Earth, making it the smallest extra-solar planet known. But the exciting discovery is that the planet inhabits the habitable zone of its parent star, Gliese 581.

    Also known as the “Goldilocks zone”, this is the narrow orbit in which temperatures are not too hot, not too cold, but just right for surface water to exist as a liquid.

    The habitable zone varies according to the heat output of the star, and Gliese 581 is much smaller and colder than the Sun. So even though the planet is 14 times closer to the star than the Earth is to the Sun, it lies in a region where rivers, lakes and oceans are possible.

    Liquid water is one of the pre-requisites for life as we know it on Earth.

    The planet was found by Swiss, French and Portuguese astronomers using the European Southern Observatory’s 3.6 metre telescope at La Silla in Chile.

    They employed a method of long-distance planet finding that looks for the “wobble” on a star caused by the gravity of a large object orbiting it.

    By measuring the wobble motion, shown as shifts in the star’s light spectrum, astronomers can calculate a planet’s orbit and mass.


    I think a ride out is coming on,where abouts is this planet and would you need much money,will I have to fit touring tyres as I hear its a bit far[:o)]


    I think this would be a good run out, intoduce the new neighbours to the joys of biking!


    We could use Radar to show us the way and stock up on choccie for the journey, such as Mars, Galaxy, Milky Way and get sponsership from The Sun?


    Who said there was life here??


    I rest my case!!!! For years now, I have been telling everyone that by brother-in-laws do indeed exist.


    Watch out for the light speed camera just behind Europa.

    Personaly, I think the wobble of the stars oribit noticed by the astronmers, was merley a Harley cornering around the mountain roads in Chile!

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