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    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2007
     (325.1)
    Gliese 581 d - doesn't exactly roll off the tongue but it's the best bet we've found yet for a habitable planet outside the solar system.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071213101403.htm

    G581d is eight times as massive of the Earth and orbits at a distance from its sun that'd allow for liquid water on the surface.

    It's tidally locked (like our moon) meaning one half of the planet is in perpetual light and the other half is perpetually dark.
  1.  (325.2)
    The first thing that came to mind was Medea: Harlan's World, wherein a planet and its flora and fauna were imagined up by a group of writers and science-folk, and then a series of stories set on the planet were written.

    Now we have a real live nifty-keen planet to speculate wildly about....
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      CommentAuthorEcksearoh
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2007 edited
     (325.3)
    Everyone has been talking about Gliese 581 C but you are in the right ballpark. If you do the numbers Gliese 581 D is much more viable.

    Bad Astronomy discussion
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      CommentAuthorNygaard
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2007
     (325.4)
    So, a world where you risk cracking a few bones every time you fall, at 2g. A band of land cut in two halves by the poles, stuck in eternal red twilight around the terminus. Heat being carried to the icy and hot side by the atmosphere. A live core and geology too? Add a soupy atmosphere, a generous helping of ocean and a 13-day year to that - the weather has the potential to be rather hellish.

    I wonder what colours the sky will turn out to be? Winds and currents that would rip terrestrial life a million new ones? One set of variables completely unchanging over immense areas, another set fluttering around with the wind and two-week seasons - what kind of adaptations could that stimulate, just in microorganisms, not to mention more complex life forms? (Righ now I'm trying to imagine how you could combine the abilities of an albatross, a camel and a limpet...)