And Right in Our Neighborhood!

Three Planets in Habitable Zone of Nearby Star

When single shines the Triple Sun …
(photo courtesy of ESO.org)

Gliese 667 C is the third and dimmest of a triple star system only 22 light years from Earth.  Initial observations had detected three planets in orbit around it, with one in the “habitable zone”, or the region in which the presence of liquid water is likely.  A recent revisiting of the data with additional observations from HARPS, the ESO’s Very Large Telescope, W.M. Keck, and Magellan have bumped the total up to seven, with three potentially capable of supporting life.  This is significant because it’s the first time this many have been found around one star.

The number of potentially habitable planets in our galaxy is much greater if we can expect to find several of them around each low-mass star — instead of looking at ten stars to look for a single potentially habitable planet, we now know we can look at just one star and find several of them,” adds co-author Rory Barnes (University of Washington, USA).

Also important is that many systems have been detected with all of the planets in close orbit around their star.  For higher mass (and correspondingly hotter) stars, this basically means that all of the planets are way too hot to support life.  For smaller, dimmer, and cooler stars, such a close orbit isn’t a problem and, in this case, means there could be life provided the chemical composition is right.

Now, if only we can find a way to get there within our lifetimes …

EDIT:  Because I just saw this, courtesy once again of Hemant Mehta, “The Friendly Atheist” … an update on Joe Klein’s dig on secular humanists in the latest issue of Time Magazine.  Spoiler alert:  neither Joe nor Time gets it.

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7 Responses to And Right in Our Neighborhood!

  1. This puts into perspective how truly insignificant we are….Unless, we see ourselves, collectively, as the universe’s senses (ears, eyes, etc.).

  2. BeyondRedemption.... says:

    with present technology…. it’ll only take 1,540.000 years to get there.

  3. How incredibly stupid and short sighted of Time. Like anyone else, they’re counting on that “majority of Christians” to keep buying their increasingly useless magazine. My parents subscribe, and they’ve complained already that it gets thinner and weaker in content. If Time had forced their stupid writer to apologize, and if they too had offered an apology, then they could have smoothed things over. And yet they don’t bother. Because, hey, atheists don’t organize. Even though they just listed several organizations in their complaints.

    Newsweek dropped its print not too long ago. It is probably on the way out online as well. It is a very shaky time for journalism. Time is the only print news mag now, and they just let a lot of their readers go. For no reason. If that moron Klein had said “I didn’t see any Christians helping out” he’d have been kicked out on his ass and Time would be backpedaling like mad. But nope, it’s those atheists, so who cares? And to add insult to injury, they’re going to let Klein write MORE about how atheists don’t help others? Really? This was not just a tiny group of whiners here, I read the comments page on that article and it was filled with angry people – and some of them were Christians! Just – the stupidity – it burns.

    I will not shed a tear when Time too closes its doors. They did it to themselves.

    • (I think you posted this in the wrong place, but that’s OK)

      Recently both Time and Klein doubled down, with the former misrepresenting the objections to the article and the latter just outright lying about what he said and why he said it. I’m glad to see that we’re now living in a time when nonbelievers are more free to self-identify, making it increasingly harder for people to get away with making stupid public comments at our expense. We remain a growing demographic … and the “very religious” – the ones who believe in the direct intervention of a personal god involved in your everyday life – is decreasing. The group really growing? Deists. *shrug* I’ll take it.

      • Did I? Oops. I was reading a few at a time, then the friendly atheist, etc. I read that article and it really irritated me. They are morons, esp with journalism going down the toilet like it is already.

  4. MichaelB says:

    Now, if we can just develop warp technology quickly enough, the aliens will come to us first…

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