Hello fellow space nerds!
Very recently, a planet named Gliese 581 has been strongly compared to Earth. The planet was discovered back in 2007, but the data which suggested its existence was just ignored and assumed to be misinterpreted signals from nearby stars. However, the data has now been re-analysed, and the planets existence is very likely. The planet is thought to orbit within its parent stars ‘goldilocks zone’, meaning that the surface temperature on the planet is nether too hot or too cold for liquid water to exist. The Gliese star system is approximately 20.5 light years away. This basically means that if we could travel at the speed of light then it would take us 20.5 years to arrive there.
Gliese 581 has also been ranked on an Earth similarity index. The scores range from 0 (completely unlike Earth) to 1 (incredibly similar to Earth), and the planet scored an impressive 0.9. the index takes into account factors such as the density and surface temperature of the planet. Just for comparison, here are the scores of the terrestrial planets in our solar system: Mercury – 0.596, Venus – 0.444, Earth 1 (duh!) and Mars scores an impressive 0.697.
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-The SpaceBunker team.