So have you heard the news? A few days ago astrophysicists discovered a new planet in the Gliese 581 star system, which, over the last few years, we already knew had five planets. This newly discovered one is a smaller, most likely rocky world that is smack dab in the middle of Gliese 581′s habitable zone. It’s the most earth-like exo-planet discovered so far. And “only” 20 light years from Earth. And there seems to be a good chance that liquid water and life as we know it could exist there.
At first I was really excited. But when I read that the planet is tidally locked, with one half always facing it’s sun, it seemed the chances of life evolving there would not be so good. But after looking at further articles (see links below) I’m excited again that with everything they know taken together it looks like the chances of a more earth-like habitable zone on Gliese 581 g (or Zarmina, that sure rolls off the tongue better) are looking more promising.
Anyone interested in this should read the articles, which explain a lot better than me recapping here, what’s known so far about the Gliese 581 system. This is a very exciting discovery! Especially so because we’ve just barely begun discovering how many stars in our galaxy have planets. This ain’t science fiction. This is real! And this discovery could mean that there may be A LOT MORE earth-like worlds out there. And one thing science has discovered in the past few decades is that wherever life can exist, it will exist. Even in the most incredibly inhospitable and extreme environments on Earth.
The one thing that frustrates me is that I’ll never live to know for sure who or what is out there! Unless we discover something like warp drive in the next few decades. But… who knows?!
And to finish off for now, here are a some links to another strictly science fiction series that I really like, Stargate: Universe, an upcoming film that looks like fun, and one more link about Fringe.