It’s too soon to say for sure that this planet, poorly named Gliese 581 c, is an Earth-like world, but the scientific and geek communities are sure keen on the idea that this large-ish planet near a red dwarf star has the right temperature to support Earth-like life. The SETI folks are sure to pay a little extra attention to this area of the sky now, but I’m not taking any bets on whether or not there’s intelligent life out there. I’m just hoping for life at all. Heck, I’d be happy if it was colonizable. At a “mere” 20 light years away, it’s potentially explorable, although not so much so in our lifetime without some major advances in interplanetary travel.
Thinking. Wondering. I read about this right after waking up, and all day I have been trying to imagine life on this foreign planet, so close to a dim red star, with a much larger gaseous planet between itself and the sun. I bet the view is extraordinary. I’m having trouble finding details (or perhaps just trouble understanding the terms used) about what its orbit is like, or how long its day is, but its year is a mere 13 Earth days, which would make for some really bizarre weather shifts if it has seasons anything like our planet does. And they say the weather in Michigan changes in 5 minutes….
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