Sunday, 6 July 2014
First Life-Friendly Exoplanet May Not Exist
Once upon a time (in 2011 to be a bit more precise), Gliese 581 d was touted as the first life-friendly exoplanet.
Now, it seems that some folks were a bit too hasty. According to an article in New Scientist:
“New analysis of the Gliese 581 star system suggests that signals previously attributed to two of its six suspected planets actually come from sunspot-like regions on the star itself. The same analysis builds support that three of the other four planets are real, but none of these worlds would be able to support life as we know it.”
Previously, researchers suggested that Gliese 581 g, another “first” candidate, did not exist.
Now it seems that the other planets in the Gliese 581 system, including Gliese 581 c, are real but they are outside the habitable zone.
It seems that the more astronomers learn about exoplanents, the more special our solar system in general and Earth in particular look.
Here, everything appears to be fine-tuned for life.
Aron, Jacob. 2014. First life-friendly exoplanet may not exist after all. New Scientist (3 July).