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Guest Thinkers

Habitable Planet Found Near Earth

"After years of saying habitable exoplanets are just around the corner, planet hunters have found Gliese 581g, the first planet found to lie squarely in its star’s habitable zone."

“‘The threshold has now been crossed,’ said astronomer R. Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, one of the planet’s discoverers, in a press briefing Sept. 29. ‘The data says this planet is at the right distance for liquid water, and the right mass to hold on to a substantial atmosphere.’ The discovery is both ‘incremental and monumental,’ comments exoplanet expert Sara Seager of MIT, who was not involved in the new study. When a recent study predicted the first habitable world should show up by next May, Seager rightly said the real answer was more like ‘any day now.'”


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