Apr 24 2009

Gliese 581

Published by at 12:36 am under Astronomy,T-Space

It was another good week for planetary astronomy, with the announcement of the discovery of the smallest exoplanet (planet orbiting another star) yet, only twice Earth’s mass, orbiting the red dwarf Gliese 581. The planet, dubbed Gliese 581 e, orbits very closely, and would be too hot for life as we know it. However, in other news from the same system, one of the earlier discovered planets (we now know of four) Gliese 581 c, is orbiting in the habitable zone, which means liquid water could exist. It’s a big planet, Neptune-size, and may very well be a water world. Of course any moons it has (which would be too small for us to detect yet, even if they were large by our standards) would also be in the habitable zone.
Gliese 581 and planets
Currently exoplanets are named after their parent star with a lowercase letter in the order found, with “a” reserved for the star itself. Thus Gliese 581 c was the second planet discovered orbiting that star, the recent Gliese 581 e the fourth. This has nothing to do with the traditional (at least in sci-fi) convention of using roman numerals to indicate position from the star; until we discover all the planets a star has, we won’t know the order. But at the moment, until we discover more, Gliese 581 e would be Gliese 581 I, and Gliese 581 c would be Gliese 581 III.

Gliese 581 is only about 20 lightyears from here, within T-Space. I really need to set a story there.

One comment so far

One Response to “Gliese 581”

  1. MEGAN LEE WOON CHINGon 07 May 2009 at 7:10 am

    Your writings are very interesting.

    I think that the positioning of stars have to do with the x/y/z axis which results in the earth being slightly tilted. The reason is so that the orientation of the star is in proportion to the 3D Effect.

    Without this proof, it will be difficult to rotate. Originally, people think that the Earth is flat. I was in 5th Grade then. They said that if you moved too far away by sea, you would fall off the land. 🙂

    A note to the more recent findings and development, I think that New Territories (in other words, new sites for developments.. like housing etc. ) needs some attention and CARE from those who have the expertise of the 21st century for the era 2010.

    There have been many incidents where people are disappointed and projects failed to meet expectations. Many have suffered as a result.
    My hope is that more people would ponder on this thought and prayed, so that it will be a better world for EVERYONE.