Planets that could potentially hold life becoming more common

(Photo: Space.com)

Astronomers are focused on a  star that could potentially harbor life. Gliese 581 is a star about 20 lights years away, a red dwarf star, but the key are the planets orbiting it. One of those planets Gliese 581g in the “Goldilocks Zone” may have water. The front side of planet is way too hot for liquid water and the back side is way to cold, but there is a band that circles the planet that’s just right. There, water can exist as a liquid. This encourages scientists to continue looking for planets that are earth like and may indicate that earth like planets are not really so rare. But how do we analyze these planets that are so far away? One example is the space craft heading out to Pluto that is scheduled to land there in 2015. This may give us a view of the largest Exoplanet in our solar system, a mere 12 billion miles away.   All this and more on this week’s Sky Talk.[audio: st20101011.mp3]

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