New planet discovered with potential for life...are you ready? Do you want to go?
“Astronomers have discovered a new, Earthlike planet that may have the potential to support plants and animals, reports the AP. “This is the most Goldilocks planet yet found,” said co-discoverer Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. “Not too hot for liquid water, and not too cold.” The planet, Gliese 581g, orbits a dwarf star 20 light years away, nestled in the constellation Libra. Though it bears many similarities to the Earth, there are some differences: The planet doesn’t spin on its axis, but is instead held in a gravitational lock so that one side always faces its sun, while the other is always dark. On the dark side, temperatures could dip to 25 degree below zero, but on the sunny side, it would be “shirt-sleeve weather,” said co-discoverer Steven Vogt of UC-Santa Cruz. Scientists don’t know yet if there is water on the planet’s surface, but Vogt said that given the amenities, “chances for life on this planet are 100 percent.” The finding was announced by the National Science Foundation on Wednesday.”—Slate Magazine