Tuesday, September 13, 2011

HD 85512 b - extraterrestrial life?

La Silla Observatory, Chile 

"HD 85512 b is an extrasolar planet orbiting the star HD 85512 approximately 36 light-years away in the constellation of Vela.

The planet was discovered by the scientists at University of Geneva, Switzerland, led by the Swiss astronomer Stéphane Udry of the GTO program of High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS), a high-precision echelle spectrograph installed on ESO's 3.6m telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chile.

HD 85512 b is one of the smallest exo-planets discovered to be in the habitable zone.

HD 85512 b is considered to be the best candidate for habitability as of August 25, 2011."
(Quoted from wikipedia)

According to scientists HD 85512 b is the most likely place to look for life among the 376 candidates known to us today. This small planet orbits its sun at approximately the same distance from it as we are from our own Sun making life possible.

The exiting discovery brings search for extraterrestrial life close to home in the cosmic scales of space: for example, a message we send today 13.9. 2011 to that planet at the speed of light could be captured there by intelligent beings in September 2047. If they know where and how to send their response we would hear from them in September 2083.

Or rather our grand-grand children would hear with 80 years delay in pinging...

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