Friday, October 15, 2010

Update on Gliese 581g

You may recall that earlier this month a team of US researchers led by astronomer Steven Vogt of the University of California, Santa Cruz, announced that they had discovered a fifth planet in a system orbiting a Red Dwarf (Gliese581) located around 20 light years from earth. More importantly, the planet (officially designated Gliese 581g) was believed to be orbiting it's parent star in it's so called habitable or "Goldilocks" zone, and was therefore deemed capable of sustaining life and dubbed the "most Earth-like" exoplanet ever discovered.

Lead astronomer Steven Vogt took his own his own speculations about the planet even further, publicly stating his belief that the chances of life on the newly discovered planet was 100 percent and in a subsequent interview with i09, renaming the new planet "Zarmina" after his wife, before moving on to described what life and even a human colony might be like on the surface of the tidally locked planet.

Well, as you may already be aware. A group of Swiss researches attempting to confirm the findings of the US research team, announced earlier this week that they had been unable to find any reliable sign of a fifth planet located in Gliese's habitable zone.


While this announcement doesn't necessarily mean the existence of the planet won't eventually be confirmed, a complete analysis of the data used to make the discovery-which was collected over a period of eleven years- will take some time, possibly several years, to complete.


Source:Science/AAAS via:80 Beats

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