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Subject 2 PLANETS IN GLIESE 581 HABITABLE ZONE
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Gliese 581g

Unlike Gliese 581c, the newfound planet Gliese 581g looks much more hospitable. It is orbiting within the habitable zone of its parent star.


Gliese 581g is three to four times as massive as Earth, is most likely rocky, and may have an atmosphere, scientists say. It orbits about 0.146 AU from the central star.

Liquid water could exist on some part of the planet's surface, which seems to have an average temperature between minus 24 and minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 31 to minus 12 degrees Celsius). Gliese 581g completes an orbit every 37 days or so.

Fifth planet is a super-Earth

The next planet in line is a so-called super-Earth, Gliese 581d, which is seven or eight times as massive as Earth and completes an orbit every 67 days.

Though at first glance this planet appeared to be beyond the star's habitable zone, astronomers think it might just squeak in — computer models suggest a greenhouse effect could be warming its surface. It was discovered in April 2007 and orbits about 0.22 AU from its parent star.

[link to www.space.com]
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