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Gliese 581d, new exoplanet climate model results in

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posted on May, 16 2011 @ 12:10 PM
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Today, it is finally Gliese 581g's big brother -- the larger and more distant Gliese 581d -- which has been shown to be the confirmed potentially habitable exoplanet by Robin Wordsworth, François Forget and co-workers from Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (CNRS, UPMC, ENS Paris, Ecole Polytechnique) at the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace in Paris. Although it is likely to be a rocky planet, it has a mass at least seven times that of Earth, and is estimated to be about twice its size. At first glance, Gliese 581d is a pretty poor candidate in the hunt for life: it receives less than a third of the stellar energy Earth does and may be tidally locked, with a permanent day and night side. After its discovery, it was generally believed that any atmosphere thick enough to keep the planet warm would become cold enough on the night side to freeze out entirely, ruining any prospects for a habitable climate.

To test whether this intuition was correct, Wordsworth and colleagues developed a new kind of computer model capable of accurately simulating possible exoplanet climates. The model simulates a planet's atmosphere and surface in three dimensions, rather like those used to study climate change on Earth. However, it is based on more fundamental physical principles, allowing the simulation of a much wider range of conditions than would otherwise be possible, including any atmospheric cocktail of gases, clouds and aerosols. To their surprise, they found that with a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere -- a likely scenario on such a large planet -- the climate of Gliese 581d is not only stable against collapse, but warm enough to have oceans, clouds and rainfall.


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Very exciting results to me. I'm hoping some of these remarkable discoveries will help to spur further exploration.




posted on May, 16 2011 @ 12:23 PM
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I would think that a rocky planet that had rainfall would not be rocky at all. There would be some kind of algea, fungus, moss, ect ect, in my humble opinion. I do like when hopeful news is released, but I also become leary when my internal logic screams to look further because something doesnt seem right.



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 01:18 PM
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Scientists are particularly excited by the fact that at 20 light years from Earth, Gliese 581d is one of our closest galactic neighbours. For now, this is of limited use for budding interstellar colonists -- the furthest-travelled human-made spacecraft, Voyager 1, would still take over 300,000 years to arrive there.


It's time to get started building the Heim hyperspace drive ships.



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by DerbyCityLights
I would think that a rocky planet that had rainfall would not be rocky at all. There would be some kind of algea, fungus, moss, ect ect, in my humble opinion. I do like when hopeful news is released, but I also become leary when my internal logic screams to look further because something doesnt seem right.


Would you think that Earth is a rocky planet?



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 02:29 PM
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Ha, I was going to post this until I searched and you beat me to it!

I love the idea of exploring space. What we need to do is to figure out a method of propulsion that doesn't involve gravity/sling-shot or blowing up a gazzilion pounds of fuel under a shuttle. Seesh. Not that I have any bright ideas, of course.



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 02:30 PM
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reply to post by Sundowner
 


Find us some more I love this stuff also



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by DerbyCityLights
 


They mean rocky as in not a gas giant not so much that the planet is going to be bare rock.



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 02:44 PM
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Originally posted by DerbyCityLights
I would think that a rocky planet that had rainfall would not be rocky at all. There would be some kind of algea, fungus, moss, ect ect, in my humble opinion. I do like when hopeful news is released, but I also become leary when my internal logic screams to look further because something doesnt seem right.


Sometimes people make me cry with their humble opinions :S



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 02:59 PM
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Rocky=terrestrial planet, opposed to a gaseous planet. It doesn't refer to surface water though, or molten rock either, its a very basic category.



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 03:12 PM
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Originally posted by MonteroReal

Originally posted by DerbyCityLights
I would think that a rocky planet that had rainfall would not be rocky at all. There would be some kind of algea, fungus, moss, ect ect, in my humble opinion. I do like when hopeful news is released, but I also become leary when my internal logic screams to look further because something doesnt seem right.


Sometimes people make me cry with their humble opinions :S


Would you like me to overnight you a box of tissue?

As for my misunderstanding the planetary description, please do forgive me. I was at work and skimmed the article. To me they described it as a big bare rocky surface. Now that I have read the article with a fresh head, I see where I misunderstood the description.



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 04:40 PM
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reply to post by DerbyCityLights
 


I think your thought probably helped to explain to many what is and isnt meant when the term rocky planet is used.



posted on May, 17 2011 @ 12:06 PM
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7 times the mass...neat

so, I would weigh as much as a small car...would get super buff just by occasionally twitching on that planet..assuming my internal organs don't simply collapse from just being there and I become little more than a flattened blob.



posted on May, 17 2011 @ 12:16 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 


Imagine what that could mean for the possibilities of advanced life. Either giant organisms with massive exoskeletons or huge internal bone structures. Or short, squat life forms with massive trunk like legs. Just the speculation alone of what type of life may be there is half the fun of discoveries like this



posted on May, 17 2011 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by DerbyCityLights
reply to post by SaturnFX
 


Imagine what that could mean for the possibilities of advanced life. Either giant organisms with massive exoskeletons or huge internal bone structures. Or short, squat life forms with massive trunk like legs. Just the speculation alone of what type of life may be there is half the fun of discoveries like this


Ants...big alien ants. MoO's Klackton race comes to mind (a very very old space video game where a antlike race was one of the galactic civilizations)



posted on May, 17 2011 @ 04:24 PM
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i could imagine something floating in the thick atmosphere of the planet. something like a jellyfish with bags of gas tto.give it lift. as fast as bacteria appeared here on earth i really believe that we may find closer relatives than we imagine



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