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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Earth Like Extrasolar Planet Found

Scientists have discovered a planet, Gliese 581 c, orbiting a red dwarf 20.5 light-years away from the Earth. The planet has five times the mass of Earth and is the smallest extrasolar planet found so far.

The orbit gives the planet a likely surface temperature of 0 and 40 degrees Celsius (32F to 104F) making it the most habitable planet yet.

European astronomers made the discovery at the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

With this news, I think it needs a better name...

[update 11:08 AM CST] The Motley Fool talks about sunbathing opportunities on "c" as scientist seem to be calling it. Note that Gliese 581 is one of the closest 100 stars. Hopefully planets like this are everywhere.

[update 11:40 AM CST] has an article stating that models predict Gliese 581 C is either a rocky planet like Earth or a waterworld covered entirely by oceans. They also have a photo of the parent star Gliese 581.

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