M Class Planet Found: Goldilocks Would Approve

A planet has been found that is not too hot and not too cold. Could it be just right?

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In the fictional Star Trek terminology, a Minshara, or “M” Class planet refers to a planet with sufficient nitrogen, oxygen, and liquid water necessary for carbon-based life to exist. The Five Year Mission of the Original Series and the Continuing Mission of the Next Generation were to seek out new life and new civilizations. The fictional Enterprise crews came across M Class planets with indigenous sentient life forms several times in each season.

 In the real universe, about 500 planets have been discovered, but so far each one has been either too hot or too cold. No new life or new civilizations have been spotted just yet.

A planet with a habitable zone (HZ) is known as a Goldilocks planet – one that is just right to potentially be inhabitable by life forms as we know them.

Astronomers have now discovered the possible existence of such a planet orbiting the red star Gliese 581. The planet, which has also been designated Gliese 581, is the right distance away from the star that the surface temperatures would allow liquid water to exist on its surface.  

Most of us would not find the climate of Gliese 581 very comfortable. This planet does not rotate on an axis as does Earth, so one side of the planet would have a temperature suitable for polar bears, and the other side would be more suited for a lizard. It is not known if there is a zone between the two sides where humans would be comfortable.

The orbit is of Gliese 581 is closer to its sun than that of Earth, making for a 37 day year. The planet is about three times the mass of Earth, so its gravity would make us feel a bit heavier than our gravity. I think that for a vacation spot, a planet with less gravity would be a bit more desirable.

Gliese 581 is only 20 light years from Earth, but I wouldn’t plan on booking a tour any time soon. With space travel technology that exists today, it would take 250 years to get to this new planet. 

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48 Responses to “M Class Planet Found: Goldilocks Would Approve”
  1. Anuradha Ramkumar Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 2:58 am

    250 years to get to this planet…Hooo.


  2. Christine Ramsay Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 3:11 am

    I think I will find somewhere a bit closer for a holiday, lol. A very interesting and informative read.

    Christine


  3. Sourav Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 3:20 am

    This is a very interesting and exciting news!


  4. SuperMember Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 3:27 am

    nice share, pleas comment on my last articles! :)


  5. J.N.R Dutton Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 3:30 am

    Intriguing piece K, I read about this yesterday on another site


  6. Ethics0006 Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Good Post


  7. Eunice Tan Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Gee, 250 years. Hope I can reach that place.


  8. Butterfly Musings Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 4:56 am

    a great article Karen, you beat me to writing about this {joking}.. I will soon, but am too lazy now..

    have a great one:}


  9. obikelvin Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 9:35 am

    A mater piece of an article.I enjoyed reading it.Great post.


  10. Littlekid137 Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I read this yesterday and I was very interested by it. Good stuff!


  11. giftarist Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Very interesting to know this.


  12. Regina Castle Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    This is a cool article Karen, enjoyable.


  13. Chris Stonecipher Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Hi Karen,
    I have often wondered with so many planets being discovered, I wonder why Pluto was removed and none of the other planets were ever added? Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading this. Bless you, chris


  14. deep blue Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 8:37 am

    The trouble with our science is probing beyond our reach and ignoring what is practically feasible. Detoxifying our planet should be a far easy thing to consider than reaching out to the farthest star and keep on spreading our wastes.


  15. LewSethics Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Cool article Karen, but I am sure that it would take a lot longer than 250 years to reach.


  16. Literary Princess Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Hmmm…another city, another state, another country-I’m fine with, but I’m not sure if I’d ever feel comfortable with another planet. However, this was a good share, thanks for the information.


  17. Val Mills Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Wow, interesting info. Loved your catchy title, too!


  18. Lucas Dié Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    250 years sounds just right for the start of prolongued holiday … it would also leave some spare time for article writing for triond :D


  19. NickFord Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Good article


  20. margaridab Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Let’s wait to see if it’s a real possibility..


  21. pablina Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    nice one… ☺ well done


  22. Joe Poniatowski Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Very interesting, hopefully we’ll discover more about this planet. Love the Star Trek reference.


  23. Barneslow Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Sick, wonder when we will be able to holiday there!


  24. Jimmy Shilaho Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I have read about it and will be waiting for all politicians and guys with bad behavior to leave us alone and go settle there. By the way, congratulations for getting into the hot content, this is a great article compared to the trash that has been appearing there of late.


  25. AshleyApathy Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 5:31 am

    I also wrote about this too, the day it was leaked. check my page out :)


  26. albert1jemi Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 10:08 am

    nice article


  27. sloanie Says...

    On October 3, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Great article 250 years to get there much to long, still technology moves on. Enjoyed.


  28. Uma Shankari Says...

    On October 4, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Enjoyed reading this. You should write more science articles. You have this skill of making a dull and difficult topic interesting and entertaining. I remember your grammar lessons in this regard.


  29. Dee Huff Says...

    On October 4, 2010 at 6:08 am

    This was interesting. 250 years – well I guess I won’t be going there.


  30. athena goodlight Says...

    On October 4, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Could it be that there are also life forms inhabiting that planet? We can only wait for further developments in science. A great read, Karen. thanks


  31. nobert soloria bermosa Says...

    On October 4, 2010 at 7:57 am

    awesome discovery…


  32. Cynthia Bartlett Says...

    On October 4, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    awesome!


  33. PaulB Says...

    On October 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Those scientists would make poor travel agents. The gravity too eh?!?


  34. Ruby Hawk Says...

    On October 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Oh, Karen, I’m afraid we will never get there.


  35. Minister Marlene Says...

    On October 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I like your title and smooth style of writing. I wonder why we can’t just deal with this planet and make it better. Seems like scientist are aware that earth will meet it’s end one day and they’ll need to take flight. Oh! but those bothersome 250 years.


  36. JohnReinhart Says...

    On October 5, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Very well written. Nice mix of cultural and scientific facts. That’s a bummer about no rotation: if there is an atmosphere it would get pretty stale. Maybe it’s a good thing the planet’s 250 years away.


  37. mimmer30 Says...

    On October 5, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Nice article and deserves to be on the hot content list.


  38. overwings Says...

    On October 5, 2010 at 6:03 am

    250 years is about 4 generations. A long trip unless we can hibernate which is also a great waste of time. Colonization will be only literature some more time.


  39. Jamie Myles Says...

    On October 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Isn’t this interesting? I wonder how many more comparable planets are out there.


  40. Tattoo3658we Says...

    On October 5, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    We just need make a faster ship…


  41. jioges Says...

    On October 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I bet you wonder why this article made it onto the Hot Content list..
    http://webupon.com/web-talk/how-to-always-be-on-a-hot-content-list/


  42. Duff D Moss Says...

    On October 6, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I always thought they were called an Mmmmm class planet, because Capt Kirk would always find some action with some hot alien chicks there.


  43. EddieStarr Says...

    On October 7, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    =-) I really like this story.


  44. Brewed Coffee Says...

    On October 8, 2010 at 12:52 am

    A very interesting read. I enjoyed it and it seems to bring back childhood memories. I was always in awe at astronomy classes. It always makes me think about what is beyond our planet. The possibilities are endless :-)


  45. Anne Stjern Says...

    On October 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Exciting find! Too bad about the lack of rotation, though. Maybe it just needs a good push to get it going. LOL


  46. Ubel Ein Says...

    On October 8, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Exciting stuff!


  47. Pam Stushnoff Says...

    On October 8, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Interesting post. The mystery of space is very exciting.


  48. Richard Brock Says...

    On October 9, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Awesome! Now all we have to do is figure out how to travel at the speed of light and how to create astronauts that can survive in a cramped space shuttle for 20 years! But still very very cool!!

    Read my completely unrelated political article about the Senate candidate who hates Muslims and compared the Holocaust to 9/11!!
    http://relijournal.com/islam/what-did-muslims-do-to-sharron-angle/


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