Exoplanets & Exomoons

Found: An Exoplanet Orbiting in the Habitable Zone of its Star

By Keith Cowing
November 4, 2010

A team of planet hunters, including scientists from the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s teams at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa and the Carnegie Institution of Washington, has announced the discovery of a planet with three times the mass of Earth orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star’s “habitable zone,” an area where liquid water could exist on the planet’s surface. If confirmed, this would be the most Earth-like exoplanet yet discovered, and the first strong case for a potentially habitable world outside our solar system. The team’s new findings are reported in a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal. For more information: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/gliese_581_feature.html [Source: NAI]

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