Thursday, February 02, 2012

Discovery - "Super-Earth" Possibly Habitable

Scientists at Göttingen University, Germany, and Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, U.S.A., have detected a possibly habitable planet about 22 light years away from Earth. The planet named GJ 667Cc has got 4,5 times of the Earth mass and is performing a full orbit around its sun, a class M dwarf, in 28,15 days.

This kind of "Super Earth" is receiving from its sun only 90% of the sunlight our Earth is receiving from our Sun. As much of the sunlight reaching GJ 667Cc belongs to the infrared spectum, that planet should nonetheless be able to absorb as much energy as our Earth.

There is much hope that liquid water might exist on GJ 667Cc which is a prerequisite for the existence of earthlike life. According to Dr. Guillem Anglada-Escudé, the project leader in Göttingen, it is now obvious that habitable planets could exist in more different environments than estimated before. This would have an impact on future research for further habitable planets in outer space.

[Source: "Welt der Physik" (World of Physics)]

Additional information:
The sun Gliese 667C of which its planet GJ 667 Cc is being considered belongs to a triple-star system in the constellation of Scorpius. While Gliese 667 A and G 667 B are orange dwarf stars of similar mass (75% and 65% of our Sun mass), G 667 C is much smaller (38% of our Sun mass) and as a red dwarf star much colder as well. An artistic approach of planet GJ 667 Cb and that is orbiting the G 667 C star like its "little brother" GJ 667 Cc shows the neighbouring suns G 667 A and B in the distance. Both planets, GJ 667 Cb and GJ 667 Cc are being considered as possible candidates for supporting earthlike life.

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