Exoplanet Planet Gliese 581g Tops List of Potentially Habitable Worlds
The discovery of the new planet Gilese 581 that was announced in the year 2010, is now back officially with No 1 ranking on the list of a potentially habitable worlds outside of our solar system.
It was the Astronomers from the University of the California, Santa Cruz and the Carneige Institution of Washington who had discovered the planet right at the Earth's front door that they thought would be capable of supporting human life.
This planet was earlier thought to be 20 light years but has now been declared as a planet that is 22 light years away. The formerly known planet Gliese 581g gets its name after the lead researcher professor Steven Vogt named it 'Zarmina's World' after his wife, and the planet has "churchly weather."
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The planet that is twice the size of the Earth, is known as the 'Super Earth', as it holds on to its gassy atmosphere which increases its chances of retaining liquid.
Till date this remained in the unconfirmed list as they required extraordinary scrutiny for Glises581g. The scrutiny arrived two weeks after the world was first announced from the astronomer Francesco Pepe of switzerland's Geneva observatory, part of HARPS. which had first detected four planets around Gliese 581 in 2009. More data collected by his European team showed no sign of Gliese 581g, Pepe and colleagues said. Instead, they found that just four planets followed elongated orbits around the red dwarf. In contrast, Vogt and his colleagues had reported six planets, including Gliese 581g, and said they followed circular orbits.
But the data collected by the European team showed strong evidence for a super Earth mass planet in the star's habitable zone.
It's been dicey for a while as the scientist dint have a clear perception on whether the liquid is frozen and stored under the surface or is flowing freely across the planet.
The Goldilocks planet appears to circle the red dwarf star Gliese 581. A red dwarf is a star less than half the weight of our sun and relatively cooler. The planet's orbit puts it a distance considered neither "too hot" nor "too cold" for oceans. That is what led discovery team astronomer Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institute of Washington (D.C.), to describe Gliese 581g as "the most Goldilocks planet yet found" after its 2010 discovery.
As Abel Torres of Planetary Habitability Laboratory notes, "These factors combine to make Gliese 581g the most Earth-like planet known with an Earth Similarity Index, a measure of Earth-likeness from zero to one, of 0.92 and higher than the previously top candidate Gliese 667Cc, discovered last year."
Even prior to this Professor Vogt has claimed the existence of certain habitable planet known as HARPS (High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet) such as Kepler -22b, HD85512.
The study will be published in European astrophysics journal, Astronomisch Naschrischten (AEST).
Vogt concluded saying, "We are finding that probably a large fraction of (red) dwarfs have such systems. Their discovery indicates that there must be at least many tens of billions of such systems in our own galaxy alone."