Life beyond our Solar System
- "Europe joins the search for life elsewhere in the Universe"
European Space agency Press release today
The chance of finding life beyond our Solar System took a leap in 1995 when Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz at the Geneva Observatory discovered the first planet orbiting another star. Since then, ground-based telescopes have detected no fewer than 74 planets orbiting 60 stars - and the number is rising almost monthly.
Most of these planets, however, are large (at least the size of Jupiter) and orbit too close to their stars for life's comfort. Earth-like planets, capable of supporting life as we know it, will be much smaller and orbit their stars within 'habitable zones', that is at such a distance and in such a way that liquid water can exist on their surfaces most of the time.
Read on http://www.weird-world.com/weird/article-detail.asp?fid=154
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]