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Giant habitable exoplanet discovered


Posted on Thursday, 8 November, 2012 | Comment icon 25 comments


Image credit: NASA

 
Astronomers have discovered a star system with six planets, one of which could potentially support life.

The dwarf star known as HD 40307 is located 42 light years away and is home to at least six large planets including a terrestrial world which is believed to be at the right distance from its star to fall in to the 'Goldilocks zone' where liquid water can exist. This new world is approximately seven times the size of the Earth and has an orbital period of 320 days.

Unfortunately due to the distance of the star and the difficulties inherent in learning more about its planets it will be very difficult to determine anything more about the discovery. "We have no explicit follow-up planned, thought the HARPS team is probably still gathering more data, and may in the future be able to confirm these results, and perhaps add even more planets to the brood," said astronomer Steven Vogt.

"Scientists added three new planets to three discovered in 2008 orbiting an orange star called HD 40307, which is roughly three-quarters as massive as the sun and located about 42 light-years away in the constellation Pictor."

  View: Full article |  Source: Discovery News

  Discuss: View comments (25)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by synchronomy on 8 November, 2012, 18:39
large sun, large planet...... hmmm methinks Giants?? With such high gravity, even if they were near our size, they would have to be built like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabba_the_Hutt
Comment icon #17 Posted by Eldorado on 8 November, 2012, 21:09
At this speed a spacecraft travelling that speed would take over 70,000 years to get there. Not if they leave on a sunday morning. (no traffic)
Comment icon #18 Posted by WhyDontYouBeliEveMe on 8 November, 2012, 22:00
okay i wanna buy that planet first
Comment icon #19 Posted by coolguy on 9 November, 2012, 5:47
They been finding a lot of star systems with planets where life can be. I bet there are som kind of human on this planet and they are saying the same thing about us lol.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 9 November, 2012, 5:56
My cat is a giant habitable exoplanet .
Comment icon #21 Posted by Rhino666 on 9 November, 2012, 7:38
Doesn't matter what we find, we still can't get to it. Is this the end of congestion charging on this planet.
Comment icon #22 Posted by paperdyer on 9 November, 2012, 14:43
large sun, large planet...... hmmm methinks Giants?? So this is where the Land of the Giants TV show was filmed
Comment icon #23 Posted by bison on 9 November, 2012, 15:34
The fact that we can't currently visit the newly discovered planet, or that we, who are adapted to a much weaker gravity field, couldn't live there, scarcely render it valueless. Radio telescopes could be trained on the planet, and very likely will be. The fact that it is so relatively near could make it possible to detect even quite modest radio signals, if any are present. Even if life there is too primitive (or too advanced) for radio, examination of its atmosphere, which will soon be possible, could inform us of its presence. Again, it's nearness is an advantage, as it will very probably a... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by bison on 9 November, 2012, 18:06
By the way, the size of the newly discovered planet is inferred to be roughly twice that of Earth, if it is a solid, rather than a gaseous body ( a super-Earth, rather than a mini-Neptune ). It's mass is given as 7 to 8 times that of Earth. Due the inverse square falling off of the force of gravity with distance, this means that the surface gravity of the new planet could be between 1 & 3/4 and 2 times that of Earth, *not* 7 or 8 times, which is is its mass. without consideration of its size. This makes it sound much more livable for large, motile life forms, though admittedly sturdily bui... [More]
Comment icon #25 Posted by DONTEATUS on 9 November, 2012, 23:18
Big Taxes,Big Hair WOmen,ITs A Dream for sure !


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