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Earth-like Planet Found? I don’t think so April 25, 2007

Posted by showmescifi in astronomy, exoplanets, Science, science fiction, sciencefiction, scifi.

Mainstream media has been keen to pick up on the apparent discovery of the most earth like exoplanet yet discovered.

Problem is they’re wrong.

Apparently astronomers were researching two Jupiter-size planets with the Keck Telescope in Hawaii, when they noticed a wobble that could not be accounted for by the two-planet model they used. Doppler measurements revealed an inner planet. It orbits Gliese 876, an M dwarf star about one-third of the Sun’s mass.

“This planet answers an ancient question,” says team leader Geoffrey Marcy. “Over 2,000 years ago, the Greek philosophers Aristotle and Epicurus argued about whether there were other earthlike planets. Now, for the first time, we have evidence for a rocky planet around a normal star.”

Now I don’t know about you but I don’t consider a Red Dwarf to be normal or Earth-like. Maybe more like Superman’s homeworld of Krypton.

Our Sun is not a red dwarf and has some very specific radiation and magnetic characteristics that are key to the existence of life in this Solar system.

Does a Red Dwarf have such characteristics?

There are undoubtably Earth-like planets out there. I suspect that that they orbit Earth-like stars.

If I were a betting man i’d say they orbit the two closest Earth-like stars: Epsilon Eridani and Tau Ceti.


1. nostalgiphile - April 26, 2007

Interesting commentary–there’s a related article at K5 you might find interesting.

2. unknown - March 29, 2008


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