Earth-like planet found 20 light years away

A “second earth” has been found 20 light years away in the constellation of Libra. Gliese 581c has a rocky surface, probably has water and an atmosphere, and has a temperature range from 0 to 40 degrees Celcius (32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit).

“‘We wouldn’t be surprised if there is life on this planet,’ said Stephane Udry, an astronomer on the project at the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland.”

In other planet-related news, Dan alerted me to this sustainability quiz. It turns out that at my present rate of consumption, if everyone on earth lived like I did, we would need 3 planets to maintain life’s precious balance. (Hey, I’m working on it. I took the quiz as if I was still living as I was several months ago, and I got 6.2 planets for an answer.)

So, I’m calling dibs on this planet. Now the question remains – how many carbon offsets will I have to purchase to get there?

(Seriously, though, the planet discovery is pretty cool. Fueled by hours and hours of Cosmos viewing during my childhood and staring up into the starry sky on camping trips, I’ve always been a sucker for the thought of life on other planets.)

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3 Responses to “Earth-like planet found 20 light years away”


  1. 1 Dan April 25, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    Damn you! I wanted that one! Ok, ok, but I get the next habitable planet.

  2. 2 karen April 27, 2007 at 12:22 am

    okay, I got 2.6. I am probably getting more points than I ought for basically never driving alone and also I don’t commute to work, cause live at work, so that’s a nice thing – (except for the part about hating my job and hating living at work.)
    Next year in a small free standing house and working as a doula/childbirth educator, my miles will go up and it’s less energy efficient to live in a house vs. an apartment. I think I’ll be eating up more planet space. Not good.

  3. 3 John Goes April 29, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    “We wouldn’t be surprised if there is life on this planet…”

    How could someone not be surprised to find life on another planet?!! These guys at SETI and everyone pursuing intelligent life sometimes rely on poor and optimistic science, like the Drake equation, and they start assuming their conclusion. It would be a hell of a thing if we find life, it would be very, very cool, but to start assuming there is life when we have found none is unscientific irrationalism. I sure hope we’re surprised if we find proof of other life.


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