A recent count points towards approximately 700 planets having been confirmed to exist, while thousands more have been detected but require follow up
confirmation. Most lie outside the habitable zone, being too hot or too cold to harbor life as we understand it.
Recently, the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo’s Planetary Habitability Laboratory released a list of the top five potentially habitable
Gliese 581g, located only 20 light years away from earth is somewhat controversial, with some researchers doubting its existence. Others however are
steadfast in their discovery. While rotating its star every 30 days, it exists in the habitable zone where liquid water potentially exists.
Gliese 581d is a planetary sibling of Gliese 581g, orbiting just a little further out. While initially thought to be too cold to support life, this
view has since been revised in light of a presumed greenhouse effect.
Gliese 667Cc lies only 22 light years away from earth and exists in a triple star system.
HD 85512b is 35 light years away with a surface temperature thought to be 25 degrees centigrade (77 degrees Fahrenheit). It is 3.6 times as large as
Kepler-22b is 600 light years away but it is suspected that the surface temperature could be a hospitable 22 degrees centigrade (72 degrees
It is quite exciting that planets suspected of being habitable lie only 20 light years away. It makes the prospect of planetary colonization a real
It could be argued that in light of the very real danger of asteroids striking this planet and wiping out the human race, the sooner we get off of
this planet and 'diversify' our habitat, the better.
Perhaps it would also be prudent to not broadcast our new location to the surrounding universe?
edit on 30-9-2012 by ollncasino because: (no reason given)