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Old 05-10-2012, 12:26 AM
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Default Light From Small, Oozing Alien Planet Seen

A NASA infrared telescope spotted light from the alien planet 55 Cancri e, which orbits a star 41 light-years from Earth.

http://news.discovery.com/space/supe...ed-120509.html
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:58 AM
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That one it tidally locked and extremely hot, much closer to its star than Mercury. But this certainly shows improvement in our observation capacity.

But with 49 sunlike stars (besides our Sun) within 51 light-years, there must be a handful of habitable planets in our galactic neighborhood, probably some as beautiful as Bajor. And they don't necessarily need a large moon to have enough tectonic activity to maintain atmosphere, since tidal force from a planet's star provides some, and it decreases not with the square of the distance but to the fourth power. So just being a little closer to the parent star than Earth is should be enough. A planet's density is also a factor. Tilt is very important (creates seasons), not to mention size.

I wonder what their astronomers say about Earth, besides calling humans murderous savages.
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