Agriculture
Watching out for vultures
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Silk’s superpowers
Amphibians
Salamanders
Salamanders and Newts
Bullfrogs
Animals
Hearing Whales
Professor Ant
The Secret Lives of Grizzlies
Behavior
A Light Delay
The (kids') eyes have it
Swine flu goes global
Birds
Pheasants
Swans
Quails
Chemistry and Materials
Graphene's superstrength
Sticky Silky Feet
Supergoo to the rescue
Computers
Graphene's superstrength
Fingerprint Evidence
Look into My Eyes
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Big, Weird Dino
Ancient Critter Caught Shedding Its Skin
Dino-bite!
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Rodent Rubbish as an Ice-Age Thermometer
Weird, new ant
Groundwater and the Water Cycle
Environment
Sea Otters, Kelp, and Killer Whales
What is groundwater
Flu river
Finding the Past
A Big Discovery about Little People
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Sahara Cemetery
Fish
Sting Ray
Sharks
Lungfish
Food and Nutrition
Symbols from the Stone Age
Chew for Health
Strong Bones for Life
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Who vs. Whom
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Exam Preparation
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
Losing with Heads or Tails
Monkeys Count
Math is a real brain bender
Human Body
Walking to Exercise the Brain
Music in the Brain
Surviving Olympic Heat
Invertebrates
Flies
Black Widow spiders
Grasshoppers
Mammals
Giant Panda
Dalmatians
Pugs
Parents
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Physics
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Electric Backpack
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Plants
Stalking Plants by Scent
Fast-flying fungal spores
Making the most of a meal
Reptiles
Caimans
Gila Monsters
Iguanas
Space and Astronomy
Phantom Energy and the Big Rip
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
A Very Distant Planet Says "Cheese"
Technology and Engineering
Drawing Energy out of Wastewater
Spinach Power for Solar Cells
Slip Sliming Away
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Noun
Transportation
Troubles with Hubble
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Robots on the Road, Again
Weather
Where rivers run uphill
Arctic Melt
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Add your Article

An Earthlike Planet

Astronomers don’t know whether life exists on other planets. But if it does, it’s most likely to be found on a planet that has liquid water. Water, after all, is essential to life on Earth.

Now, astronomers have discovered a distant planet that could have water. That, in turn, raises the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

The planet isn’t in our solar system, so it’s called an extrasolar planet. It orbits a star called Gliese 581, which is about 116 trillion miles from Earth.

Astronomers have found other extrasolar planets, but none seems habitable. Most are giant balls of gas. Many are so close to their fiery stars that water on them would boil away; others are so distant that water would freeze.

The new extrasolar planet is too small for telescopes to take a picture of it. But astronomers have figured out that, like Earth, it has a solid surface. Equally important is its temperature. It’s located in what astronomers call the “Goldilocks Zone”—a distance from its star that makes the planet neither too hot nor too cold, but just right for water to exist as a liquid.

Because they couldn’t see the planet, astronomers led by Stephane Udry of the Geneva Observatory, in Switzerland, looked to the star for clues. They studied Gliese 581 to see whether it was “wobbling.” The weak gravitational pull of a planet orbiting a star can cause the star to move back and forth.

Using an instrument called a spectrograph, Udry’s team measured the wobble of Gliese 581 by recording the pattern of changes in its light.

The astronomers’ measurements revealed a lot about the new planet. For example, it’s about five times as heavy as Earth, and it orbits its star every 13 days.

It’s also closer to its star than Earth is to the sun. But Gliese 581 is a red dwarf, which is a kind of star that’s cooler than our sun. So, the temperature on the planet is probably about the same as temperatures are on Earth.—J.L. Pegg

An Earthlike Planet
An Earthlike Planet








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™