From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul> Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 10:55:29 -0000 Archived: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 07:10:30 -0500 Subject: 'Earth-Like Planet' Detected Close To Nearby Star Hello List, The comments by Steve Vogt are interesting, Ray ----- Source: Telegraph.Co.Uk http://tinyurl.com/cnbgztm 19 Dec 2012 'Earth-Like Planet' Detected Close To Nearby Star Tau Ceti, one of our closest stars, could host an Earth-like planet, astronomers have said. Located a relatively near 12 light years away, the Sun-like star has five planets that orbit it in a balmy zone which gives the best chance for nurturing life, they said. One of the planets has a mass about five times that of the Earth, making it the smallest planet found so far in the area, they said. That planet, known as e, is the right distance from the star to be warm enough, but not too hot, to potentially support life. Around 800 exoplanets - worlds orbiting stars other than our own - have been spotted since 1995. But none is a home from home. These planets are either uninhabitable gas giants or rocky planets that swing so close to their star that they are literally roasted. The quest is to find a rocky planet that is not only close to the mass of Earth but is also located in the so-called "Goldilocks zone". This is an orbital distance from the star where temperature is neither too hot nor too cold, but just right to sustain liquid water, which is essential for life as we know it. The Tau Ceti finding was made by astronomers from Australia, Britain, Chile and the United States, who applied a new technique to filter data from more than 6,000 observations. By doing so, they believe they rooted out distorting signals, called "noise", that masked the existence of low-mass planets. They applied the technique to light from Tau Ceti, where they determine it is not a lone star but in fact one with a planetary system, they said. "This discovery is in keeping with our emerging view that virtually every star has planets, and that the galaxy must have many such potentially habitable Earth-sized planets," said Steve Vogt, a veteran exoplanet-hunter. "We are now beginning to understand that Nature seems to overwhelmingly prefer systems that have multiple planets with orbits of less than one hundred days," he said in a press release published by Britain's University of Hertfordshire. "This is quite unlike our own solar system where there is nothing with an orbit inside that of Mercury. So our solar system is, in some sense, a bit of a freak and not the most typical kind of system that Nature cooks up." On October 17, European astronomers reported they had detected a planet with about the mass of Earth orbiting Alpha Centauri B, which is only 4.3 light years away. However, the planet itself is not "another Earth" as it is not in the Goldilocks zone. It zips around the star at a scorchingly close distance, and liquid water could not exist there. ----- Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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