Scientists Find Watery, Earth-Like Planet?

April 22, 2009

earthlike planet 2.jpg

Earth Day Fools! Oh, wait, no. Apparently this is real, and only 20.5 light-years away! Ladies and gentlemen -- start your rocket engines. PSSSSHOOOOOOOOW! PEW PEW.

The Gliese 581 planetary system now has four known planets, with masses of about 1.9 (planet e, left in the foreground), 16 (planet b, nearest to the star), 5 (planet c, center), and 7 Earth-masses (planet d, with the bluish colour).

Michel Mayor, a well-known exoplanet researcher from the Geneva Observatory, announced the find today. The planet, "e," in the famous system Gliese 581, is only about twice the mass of our Earth. The team also refined the orbit of the planet Gliese 581 d, first discovered in 2007, placing it well within the habitable zone, where liquid water oceans could exist.

Planet Gliese 581 d, is that really the best they could do? GIVE IT A REAL DAMN NAME ALREADY. I propose Waterworld. And speaking of which, that was a hell of a movie, was it not? Oh, I'm getting a "no" from The IWatchStuff Writer. But he had gills, man, gills!

Nearly Earth-sized Planet, Possible Watery World Spotted Near Another Star [universetoday]

Thanks to Morgana, who, for an Earth-related tip on Earth Day, wins a free trip to Gliese 581 d, just as soon I finish my rocketship.

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