Earth-Sized Planet Discovered in Perfect Position to Support Earth-Like Life

Seth Borenstein writes on the AP via Yahoo News:
Earth& Sun

Astronomers say they have for the first time spotted a planet beyond our own in what is sometimes called the Goldilocks zone for life: Not too hot, not too cold. Juuuust right.

Not too far from its star, not too close. So it could contain liquid water. The planet itself is neither too big nor too small for the proper surface, gravity and atmosphere.

It’s just right. Just like Earth. “This really is the first Goldilocks planet,” said co-discoverer R. Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The new planet sits smack in the middle of what astronomers refer to as the habitable zone, unlike any of the nearly 500 other planets astronomers have found outside our solar system. And it is in our galactic neighborhood, suggesting that plenty of Earth-like planets circle other stars.

Scientists have jumped the gun before on proclaiming that planets outside our solar system were habitable only to have them turn out to be not quite so conducive to life. But this one is so clearly in the right zone that five outside astronomers told The Associated Press it seems to be the real thing.

“This is the first one I’m truly excited about,” said Penn State University’s Jim Kasting. He said this planet is a “pretty prime candidate” for harboring life.

Read More on the AP via Yahoo News

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  • Gregory

    OMG. Here’s another story for you. There was this guy named Jack and he had some magic beans…or wait…there was this chick in this tower with really long hair and…have you heard the one about…

    Look, people. Let’s figure out how to perpetuate life on this planet first. That’s what I want scientists to be “truly excited about.” We’re still trying to understand how come the moon is at just the right spot in orbit around the earth and other facts about our present situation.

    How about we call a moratorium on grants for researching what kind of dinosaur lived a gazillion years ago and whether or not there’s a planet out there that has life or not until no child goes hungry on this planet? Make sense?

    Especially since our looking for another earth-like planet is itself just another sign of our arrogance, the idea that if there is life out there, it will be found on a planet like ours. That’s such a narrow-minded view, it’s laughable. No, other sentient life out there may likely be so different than us, we wouldn’t even recognize it if we did see it. We’re not even sure if plants on this planet has a form of consciousness/intelligence or not.

    Let’s get our house in order and stop trying to build a mythology with science to replace the mythologies we dismissed a few centuries ago. If there is another earth out there, big effin’ deal. We’re still wondering how we could possibly visit Mars right now, so let’s turn our gaze back here to our planet and back into ourselves before we backslide as a species and find we’re climbing back into the trees.

    fiat lux

  • Gregory

    OMG. Here’s another story for you. There was this guy named Jack and he had some magic beans…or wait…there was this chick in this tower with really long hair and…have you heard the one about…

    Look, people. Let’s figure out how to perpetuate life on this planet first. That’s what I want scientists to be “truly excited about.” We’re still trying to understand how come the moon is at just the right spot in orbit around the earth and other facts about our present situation.

    How about we call a moratorium on grants for researching what kind of dinosaur lived a gazillion years ago and whether or not there’s a planet out there that has life or not until no child goes hungry on this planet? Make sense?

    Especially since our looking for another earth-like planet is itself just another sign of our arrogance, the idea that if there is life out there, it will be found on a planet like ours. That’s such a narrow-minded view, it’s laughable. No, other sentient life out there may likely be so different than us, we wouldn’t even recognize it if we did see it. We’re not even sure if plants on this planet has a form of consciousness/intelligence or not.

    Let’s get our house in order and stop trying to build a mythology with science to replace the mythologies we dismissed a few centuries ago. If there is another earth out there, big effin’ deal. We’re still wondering how we could possibly visit Mars right now, so let’s turn our gaze back here to our planet and back into ourselves before we backslide as a species and find we’re climbing back into the trees.

    fiat lux

    • Marssuit

      After thousands of years of wondering what is out there in our starry environment, we are able to, for the first time in our species’s history, look for ourselves and see. We have never had the means of doing so before.

      And here comes high and mighty ‘Gregory’ who thinks it is morally wrong to do so? To search for something that is certainly out there and will affect us deeply…..is….. NARROW MINDED? OH the hypocrisy.

      While this discovery fills me with optimism, you remain a pessimistic douche.

    • gemmarama

      earth’s fucked. they’re looking for somewhere to escape to.

    • Weg

      Wow, you suck.

    • Andrew

      So all funding that goes to the sciences should be put into psychology and sociology.

  • Marssuit

    After thousands of years of wondering what is out there in our starry environment, we are able to, for the first time in our species’s history, look for ourselves and see. We have never had the means of doing so before.

    And here comes high and mighty ‘Gregory’ who thinks it is morally wrong to do so? To search for something that is certainly out there and will affect us deeply…..is….. NARROW MINDED? OH the hypocrisy.

    While this discovery fills me with optimism, you remain a pessimistic douche.

  • Vox Penii

    Marxist diatrabe has corrupted astronomy to the point it cannot be saved. Obama is creating planets will nilly, in an effort to appease his elder god, Yad-Thaddag.

  • Vox Penii

    Marxist diatrabe has corrupted astronomy to the point it cannot be saved. Obama is creating planets will nilly, in an effort to appease his elder god, Yad-Thaddag.

  • gemmarama

    earth’s fucked. they’re looking for somewhere to escape to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mattia-Fiumara/1455944541 Mattia Fiumara

    What’s the distance to earth?

    • Chris

      20 light years

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mattia-Fiumara/1455944541 Mattia Fiumara

    What’s the distance to earth?

  • Chris

    20 light years

  • flying_giraffey

    Ah excellent! So come the end of the world, whenever that may be, we can go and destroy that planet with pollution and war just the same as we did our home planet.

  • flying_giraffey

    Ah excellent! So come the end of the world, whenever that may be, we can go and destroy that planet with pollution and war just the same as we did our home planet.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3WT4CJMNBWMZSQOC2UTJDV6INI Sasquatch

    Don’t believe a word of this crap – media hype – any scientist worth his salt (and without an agenda) would have to tell you 1) there is no way to tell for sure that there is even a planet there because it cannot be seen and 2) this is all guess work based on instrumental readings, interpretations of readings and unproven theories which can be (and probably are) wrong – the reason for such a ridiculous article is that in order to get you to accept the lie that there are planets out there the media wants to focus the conversation on whether or not the (non-existent) planet can have water or support life. Don’t be a sucker for such media propaganda because what I have said is 100% true. Like “climategate” this article is not.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3WT4CJMNBWMZSQOC2UTJDV6INI Sasquatch

    Don’t believe a word of this crap – media hype – any scientist worth his salt (and without an agenda) would have to tell you 1) there is no way to tell for sure that there is even a planet there because it cannot be seen and 2) this is all guess work based on instrumental readings, interpretations of readings and unproven theories which can be (and probably are) wrong – the reason for such a ridiculous article is that in order to get you to accept the lie that there are planets out there the media wants to focus the conversation on whether or not the (non-existent) planet can have water or support life. Don’t be a sucker for such media propaganda because what I have said is 100% true. Like “climategate” this article is not.

  • Weg

    Wow, you suck.

  • Andrew

    So all funding that goes to the sciences should be put into psychology and sociology.

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