Thursday, April 26, 2007
a birthday every 13 days?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- European astronomers have found the most Earth-like planet outside our solar system, and here's what it might be like to live there:
The "sun" wouldn't burn brightly. It would hang close, large and red in the sky, glowing faintly like a charcoal ember. And it probably would never set if you lived on the sunny side of the planet.
You could have a birthday party every 13 days because that's how fast this new planet circles its sun-like star. But watch the cake -- you'd weigh a whole lot more than you do on Earth. (Learn more about exoplanets)
You might be able to keep your current wardrobe. The temperature in this alien setting will likely be a lot like Earth's -- not too hot, not too cold.
And that "just right" temperature is one key reason astronomers think this planet could conceivably house life outside our solar system. It's also as close to Earth-sized as telescopes have ever spotted. Both elements make it the first potentially habitable planet besides Earth or Mars.
For more on this fascinating story: