Habitable planet around star?
"Scientists find most Earth-like planet yet
Models predict planet should be either rocky or covered with oceans
By Ker Than
An Earth-like planet spotted outside our solar system is the first
found that could support liquid water and harbor life, scientists
Liquid water is a key ingredient for life as we know it. The newfound
planet is located at the "Goldilocks" distance not too close and
not too far from its star to keep water on its surface from freezing
or vaporizing away.
And while astronomers are not yet able to look for signs of biology
on the planet, the discovery is a milestone in planet detection and
the search for extraterrestrial life, one with the potential to
profoundly change our outlook on the universe.
"The goal is to find life on a planet like the Earth around a star
like the sun. This is a step in that direction," said study leader
Stephane Udry of the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland. "Each time
you go one step forward you are very happy."
The new planet is about 50 percent bigger than Earth and about five
times more massive. The new "super-Earth" is called Gliese 581 C,
after its star, Gliese 581, a diminutive red dwarf star located 20.5
light-years away that is about one-third as massive as the Sun."
Gliese 581 is in Libra; I don't know the zodiacal coordinates just
5 Earth masses; I think that means if you weighed 100 pounds on
Earth, you'd weigh 500 on Gliese 581 C...
Mark A. Holmes