National Geographic announces the discovery of a planet smack dab in its sun’s habitable zone.
I’ve been hearing about this as a planet “slightly larger than Earth.” That appears to be an exaggeration, because apparently this planet is actually about 2.5 times the size of Earth, which is pretty big. Still, the sun is similar to our sun, the planet is located in just the right spot . . . raise your hand if you are dying to take a closer look at it.
I KNOW, right?
It’s 600 light years away, so alas, not much chance of getting a real look at it any time soon.
They’re going to try to get a decent estimate of its mass next. Mass = density times volume, so if we’ve got the mass and the volume, we can calculate density and thus figure out if there’s a lot of water on this planet.
Exciting times, exciting times. First Pluto turns out to have all these weird features and then we find this potentially Earth-like planet.
Little planets like this are tough to find, but I bet this one won’t be the last we find in its star’s habitable zone.