In the search for Earth-like planets, astronomers zeroed two places that look awfully familiar to home. One is close to the right size and the other is in the right place.

European researchers said they not only found the smallest exoplanet ever, called Gliese581 e, but realized that a neighboring planet discovered earlier, Gliese581 d, was in the prime habitable zone for potential life.

“The Holy Grail of current exoplanet research is the detection of a rocky, Earth like planet in the ‘habitable zone,’ said Michael Mayor, an astrophysicist at Geneva University in Switzerland.

Gliese581e is only 1.9 times the size of Earth while previous planets found outside our solar system are closer to the size of massive Jupiter, which Nasa says could swallow more that 1,000 Earths. Gliese581e sits close to the nearest star, making it too hot to support life. Still, Mayor said its discovery in a solar system 201/2 light years away from Earth is a “good example that we are progressing in the detection of Earth-like planets.”

Scientist also discovered that the orbit of planet Gliese581d, which was found in 2007, was located within the “habitable zone” a region around a sun like star that would allow water to be liquid on the planet’s surface.


Blogger Rise said... @ April 29, 2009 at 6:41 PM

Did human can live there???

acos said... @ April 30, 2009 at 12:28 PM
This comment has been removed by the author.
acos said... @ April 30, 2009 at 12:31 PM

in due time my friend... scientist are now looking for another earth like planet... our earth is in peril of destruction....

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