It probably wouldn't feel exactly like home. But the planet known as Gliese 581d has a lot more in common with Earth than astronomers first thought.You know...should a planet ever be found with "human-like" entities dwelling there in any capacity...it's really going to mess up a number of religions on this planet. Personally, I'm sort of looking forward to that scenario.
New measurements of the planet's orbit place it firmly in a region where conditions would be right for liquid water, and thus life as we know it, astronomer Michel Mayor, from Geneva University in Switzerland, announced today.
"It lies in the [life-supporting] habitable zone, and it could have an ocean at its surface," Mayor said during the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science conference, being held this week at the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K.
First discovered in 2007, Gliese 581d was originally calculated to be too far away from its host star—and therefore too cold—to support an ocean.
But Mayor and colleagues now show that the extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, orbits its host in 66.8 days, putting it just inside the cool star's habitable zone.