Scientists have found the first planet that is earth-like enough to sustain life. It’s called 581 c. The planet circles something called a red dwarf star, which they previously didn’t believe could host habitable planets. It’s only 120 trillion miles away. Surprisingly, that puts it within 100 of the closest stars to our sun.
581 c rotates around it’s sun every 13 days, but they aren’t sure it turns, meaning one side might always be in darkness. However, on the other side, the sun hanging in the sky would appear 20x larger than our moon does.
Now, it’s possible that the planet could still be deemed inhabitable. But thus far, it has shunned the “Goldilocks problem.” That is, it’s not too hot, nor too cold, but appears just right. Temperatures would be between 32 and 104 degrees. Gravity would be 1.6 times stronger. They don’t know yet if it is rocky like earth or has a frozen center like many other planets. Most importantly, they don’t know yet that there is liquid water on the planet.
I’d like to know how they know anything at all from 20.5 light years away. Currently, we have no way to get someone there in a human lifetime anyway.
But it’s an important discovery, nonetheless. Because they didn’t realize before that red dwarf stars could host such planets, they have a lot more close looking to do. But this is a HUGE step in answering the one big question. Are we alone in the universe?