Friday, June 28, 2013

Gliese 677C, Revisted: Three Super-Earths in the Habitable Zone

(ESO/M. Kornmesser, via BBC News, used w/o permission)
"An impression of what the sky might look like from the exoplanet Gliese 667Cd, looking towards the parent star and featuring, at top, the other super-Earths in the habitable zone"

"Star is crowded by super-Earths"
Jonathan Amos, BBC News (June 25, 2013)

"Scientists have identified three new planets around a star they already suspected of hosting a trio of worlds.

"It means this relatively nearby star, Gliese 667C, now has three so-called super-Earths orbiting in its 'habitable zone'.

"This is the region where temperatures ought to allow for the possibility of liquid water, although no-one can say for sure what conditions are really like on these planets...."

These planets are more massive than Earth, which might make them better prospects for life than Earth. It looks like plate tectonics, the way Earth's surface keeps getting churned up, or rather down, is really important for making a planet habitable. (December 5, 2009)

Not that astronomers know if there's an atmosphere, let alone water, on any of the three super-Earths circling Gliese 677C. But if there is: there could be life there. Then again, maybe not.

It's the Lemming's considered opinion that humans don't know, yet.

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