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Detection of an Earth-like planet at another planetary system


Barcelona, 27th April 2007

A team of european astronomers working at the ESO has just made public the first detection of an Earth-like planet very likely remaining inside the habitable zone of its system, around the star Gliese 581. It is the smallest extrasolar planet detected to date and, according to models, it is entirely rocky. Moreover, it is the first one where the calculated temperature lies inside the interval which permits the existence of liquid water: between 0 and 40 ºC in this case. Because of this feature, essential for the development of life as we know it, this new planet, named Gl581 c, will be a prioritary target for future space missions devoted to the detection of extraterrestrial life: ESA's Darwin satellite and NASA's TPF .

Impressió d'un artista sobre l'aspecte del planeta Gl581 c
Artist's impression of the planetary system around Gliese 581
Courtesy of ESO Press

Main of the news

Sorry, but the english version of this news is not available yet.

Complementary information sources

  1. New at the ESO's site
  2. Video about this discovery in a page of the ESO's site . It can be also found at YouTube .
  3. Press release from the UNIGE (in french).
  4. Press release from the CNRS available at this website of the UNIGE (in french).
  5. Proposal for publication; Udry, S. et al., The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets (format pdf).
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