Friday, March 19, 2010

Inhabitable Planet FOUND!

I cannot possibly contain my excitement when I found out that scientists have discovered the holy grail of all planets, the potentially inhabitable "Gliese 581 d".

Gliese 581 d is slightly larger than Earth and possibly has oceans on the surface. The planet orbits a star called Gliese 581, and is only about 20 light years away, compared to Corot-9b, the Jupiter and Mercury-like planet discovered about 1,500 light years from Earth.  Its predicted to be a rocky planet. Although scientists currently observe the planet to be slightly colder than Earth, if enough greenhouse gases are being produced by the planet, the temperature could be adequate to support liquid water and life.

In August of 2009, Hello From Earth, a website launched by the Australian Cosmos Magazine, sent over 25,000 individual messages via radio telescope in English to Gliese 581 d in hopes of getting a response one day. Because of the great distance, (20.5 light years), the planet would receive the messages only by 2029 and the earliest possible response would reach us in 2049. Well I'm hoping that by 2029 we'll be advanced enough to actually go to the planet and deliver a message in person.

I am disappointed that I was misfortunate to be unaware of this project back in 2009. Had I been aware, I would have sent a message too. Reading some of the messages people sent over made me wonder if they watch Star Trek on Gliese. 

My thoughts are, if Gliese, or any planet in the universe for that matter, had technology more advanced than ours, I'm pretty sure sure they would have said hello by now. Perhaps nobody likes us, but there is life on any planet, I think they ar eeither going to be microorganisms or they are also trying to figure out how to get to Earth. 
Gliese 581 d 


Alan Boss, an astrophysicist at Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C., estimates that there is one habitable planet around every sun-like star in the galaxy! There are about 10 billion sun-like stars in the galaxy and about 100 billion galaxies in the universe, conclusively estimating that life is likely to be widespread. 

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