Gliese 667C, Home To 3 Potentially Habitable Planets

Tuesday, 25 June 2013 - 2:59PM
Astrobiology
Tuesday, 25 June 2013 - 2:59PM
Gliese 667C, Home To 3 Potentially Habitable Planets

Gliese 667C is a rare thing. It's a solar system with not one, not two, but three potentially habitable planets, making it the best known candidate for harboring a planet capable of sustaining life. To most people, three potentially habitable planets in one system might not sound like much, but scientists would urge such people to consider the following... Our solar system only has one habitable planet, and before these findings on Gliese 667C, the discovery of two habitable planet candidates each in systems such as Gliese 581 and Kepler 62 was considered ground breaking. 

 

The findings come from Guillem Anglada and his team from the University of Göttingen, who believe that the star Giese 667C has at least 6 planets in its orbit, 3 of which are within the habitable zone. Gliese 667C c, Gliese 667C f and Gliese 667C e might not have the catchiest names, but the fact that they lie within the habitable zone and are not a great deal more massive than Earth makes them celebrities in this field of study.Their location in the habitable zone means they have the optimal chance of having liquid water on their surface. Add to this that their size increases the likelihood of the planets being of a rocky nature, and you have yourself a prime candidate for a habitable planet. 

 

The discovery of Gliese 667C and the so far 6 planets in its orbit takes the total number of discovered exoplanets up to 898, with only around 100 of these orbiting in the fabled habitable zone.

 

  

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