« Welcome to the Astronomy 101 Web log | Main | Invisible Planet Found 650 Light-Years Away »

September 12, 2011

New Super Earth Found

I just read a really cool story on Space.com, apparently the people at the European Space Observatory found 50 new exoplanets. 16 of the exoplanets are designated as Super Earths. Whats exciting about this news is that one of the Super Earths is in the habitable zone. Its only about 4 times bigger than the Earth, which I would assume means it has an atmosphere. This doesn't mean that it has life, pretty sure our telescopes aren't good enough to see alien activity on exoplanets yet. but its probably one of the best candidates for detectable life outside our solar system. On another note I did read a headline over the weekend about ESO saying they were going to make a big announcement today. This is a big deal in the astronomical world.
The article was written by Denise Chow and a contribution was made by Clara Moskowitz. The article can be found at http://www.space.com/12915-habitable-alien-planet-hd-85512b-super-earth.html

Posted by dhupp at September 12, 2011 08:01 PM

Comments

While I obviously hope that we never need to go there, it's nice to know there's another planet capable of sustaining life should humanity screw up Earth. I just took a class that talked about how quickly Earth is running out of natural resources, so we could move some of that planet's back here (though we better start soon, since it's a few light years away).

Posted by: mgilbs at September 14, 2011 12:57 AM

Saw this on CNN.com as well. Very interesting article. By the way for anyone who is unaware, an exoplanet is a planet outside of our solar system, and a Super Earth is a planet whose mass is between one and 10 times that of our own planet. Also, like dhupp said, there is a possibility for life on one of the exoplanets (named HD 88512b), however according to the article "there's a lot more work to be done to explore whether this planet is truly fit for life." Basically, this means that it will be awhile before we will truly know if there is life on this planet. However, this is still an incredible discovery and definitely helps in the pursuit to find life on other planets

Found on: http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/13/16-super-earths-found-outside-solar-system/?hpt=hp_c2

Posted by: lwasher at September 14, 2011 10:27 AM

I feel like it is inevitable that we will find a planet with similar life form to Earth. Every year there are more and more discoveries of planets within the habitable zone. It's only a matter of time before we find a planet with life.

Posted by: chazr at September 18, 2011 03:27 PM

I completely agree with you, the only question is how long it will take

Posted by: dhupp at September 18, 2011 04:52 PM

Login to leave a comment. Create a new account.