Friday, October 01, 2010

Discovery of the Willenium

Ladies and gentlemen: exoplanet in inhabitable zone, only 20.5 light-years away, 'mysterious pulse of light'!!!
first saw this on Exonauts


  1. I'm a little puzzled by the 'habitable planet' stories all the news sites are running. The only things it has going for it is that its rocky, not too massive, or too small, and is at the right distance to have liquid water.

    So it might have life, but I wouldn't consider it 'habitable'.

    - Orbits a dwarf star.
    - Tidal-locked to the Sun so really only a thin ring between the day side and night side would be tolerable to life.

    Too bad it's 20 light years away. If we were to slingshot something there, it would still take around 100 years. By then we'd probably have good enough tech at home spy on them in detail.

    I think the most significant thing is that it bodes well for finding better candidates.

  2. Anonymous10:31 AM

    Why don't the SETI boys point their radio antennas at this planet to see if E. T. is phoning?

  3. I am surprised that (a) our Daily Mail covered a science story, and (b) didn't immediately suggest sending the gypsies and immigrants there.

  4. What are we waiting for? Let's go.

  5. The thing is, if it's possible for there to be life and intelligent life around red dwarf stars, the galaxy should be absolutely *teeming* with it. Because red dwarfs are both so common and so long-lived. Gliese 581 is 7-11 billion years old, at least 2.5 billion years older than Sol. If live took a similar course there to Earth, it should be vastly more advanced. And the same goes for hundreds of billions of similar red dwarf stars.

    By contrast, Earth evolved complex life 0.6 billion ya, 4 billion years after formation, and Sol's increasing luminosity will apparently bake us dry in a billion years or so - a very short window of opportunity for life compared to the tens of billions of years red dwarfs can offer. And red dwarfs are far more common than Sol-type stars.

  6. Anonymous1:57 PM

    First off, we're in a bad neighborhood galacticaly speaking. And the neighbors aren't speaking to us in the hopes that we'll move and property values will recover.

  7. @ Rob of the North

    Spoil sport :p

  8. Hey, thanks for the shout out Jeff! Oh, and fire up the warp drive!