Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Exoplanet May Be Habitable

"... the host of heaven cannot be numbered...." -- Jeremiah 33:22

"In my Father's house [heaven] are many mansions [planets]: if it were not so, I would have told you." -- Jesus Christ, extraterrestrial, John 14:2

"Democritus, Epicurus, and their scholar Metrodorus affirm that there are infinite worlds in an infinite space ...." -- Plutarch, historian, 1st century

"Alexander wept when he heard from Anaxarchus that there was an infinite number of worlds; and his friends asking him if any accident had befallen him, he returns this answer: 'Do you not think it a matter worthy of lamentation that when there is such a vast multitude of them, we have not yet conquered one?'" -- Plutarch, historian, 1st century

"... there are more worlds, and on them more creatures of beauty to be found." -- Immanuel Kant, natural philosopher, 1764

Science Daily: Newly Discovered Planet May Be First Truly Habitable Exoplanet.
ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2010) — A team of planet hunters led by astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington has announced the discovery of an Earth-sized planet (three times the mass of Earth) orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star's "habitable zone," where liquid water could exist on the planet's surface. If confirmed, this would be the most Earth-like exoplanet yet discovered and the first strong case for a potentially habitable one.

To astronomers, a "potentially habitable" planet is one that could sustain life, not necessarily one that humans would consider a nice place to live. Habitability depends on many factors, but liquid water and an atmosphere are among the most important.

"Our findings offer a very compelling case for a potentially habitable planet," said Steven Vogt, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz. "The fact that we were able to detect this planet so quickly and so nearby tells us that planets like this must be really common."

The findings are based on 11 years of observations at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. "Advanced techniques combined with old-fashioned ground-based telescopes continue to lead the exoplanet revolution," said Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution. "Our ability to find potentially habitable worlds is now limited only by our telescope time."

1 comment:

LottaTroublemaker said...

Even if some of what is said on this page, is nothing but speculation and/or interpretation by the writer, it is interesting reading. If nothing else, it makes you wonder, a bit like a young child who discover things for the very first time (well, like I imagine such a child must wonder, while seeing/discovering things)... :) Makes for some interesting philosophical thoughts and maybe dreams as well... :)