Astronomers Discover 3 Planets That May Support Life

Astronomers Discover 3 Planets That May Support LifeAstronomers announced that they’ve identified a star system with up to seven planets — three of which could potentially host life — 22 light-years away.

‘Habitable zone’

The likelihood that conditions could support life on at least one of those planets, given that there are three terrestrial-mass planets in the habitable zone of one system, is “tremendous,” according to at least one scientist. The “habitable zone” is the area near a star in which a planet can theoretically hold liquid water. In our own solar system, Venus is close to the inner edge of potential habitability, while Mars is closer to the outer edge.

The discovery is the largest number of “habitable zone” planets ever found within a single system, said Guillem Anglada-Escude of the University of Gottingen, Germany, who led the team of astronomers. The findings were published Wednesday in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. The findings are only the latest in a recent string of identifications of planets that may host life.


‘More exciting discoveries’

The three planets orbit a star called Gliese 667C, part of the triple-star system Gliese 667. They are between four and eight times the mass of the Earth, making them ”super-Earths.” The planets are likely either rocky or water worlds, meaning they’re entirely covered in water. These particular planets also appear to be “tidally locked,” meaning the same side of a planet is always facing a star. That means one side of the planet always gets light and the other hemisphere is always in darkness.

Because they are so far away, the composition of the atmospheres of all of these planets outside our solar system remains unknown. Whether life truly roams or swims out there is still to be seen. Still, Anglada-Escude says the existence of star systems packed with potentially habitable planets, and the diversity of planets that Kepler has found, suggest there are more exciting discoveries yet to come.

Do you think the astronomers are very close to finding another planet that is truly habitable for us? Feel free to share your speculations with us!

Source: Elizabeth Landau | CNN

Image: Sci Tech Daily

Steve Job’s iPhone-Inspired Secret Yacht

Steve Job's iPhone-Inspired Secret YachtJust over a year after Steve Jobs’s death, shipbuilders in Aalsmeer, Holland have finally finished the yacht that the Apple visionary spent years designing — stealthily, of course. Boy, does it look like an Apple product. Her name is Venus.

‘Looks like an iPhone 4′

Built entirely out of aluminum, the yacht was designed by Jobs personally along with some help from French designer Phillipe Stack. The ship measures between 70 and 80 meters, but because of the aluminum construction, it’s lighter than your typical yacht, giving it a bit of an edge when it comes to speed.

The front of the ship is equipped with a uniquely large sun deck with a jacuzzi built in. Behind that comes an all glass cabin that’s topped with a bridge equipped with seven 27-inch iMacs that handle the ship’s navigation and controls. When you take a step back, squint a little and turn your head to the left, it sort of looks like an iPhone 4 with the strip of windows around the middle and the clean lines.


‘Famously humble’

Jobs’s yacht project might seem a little out of character at first. After all, the billionaire was famously humble about many aspects of his lifestyle. He lived in a normal house on a normal suburban street in Palo Alto, California, not some massive mansion out in the mountains. He wore jeans, a black turtleneck sweater and New Balance tennis shoes, a basically thrifty choice for a man who could afford his own cashmere farm. He also drove a very nice Mercedes car, but it wasn’t rapper nice.

We now know that Steve Jobs was not a stranger to the finer aspects of being filthy rich, luxuries like chrome-coated yachts and custom-built private jets. Sadly, Jobs did die before the yacht was finished, but the folks at Feadship finished the job. Evidently, the Jobs family recently had a little christening party with the shipbuilders, who all got an iPod Shuffle with “Venus” engraved on the back as a token of thanks.

Do you like the design of Steve Jobs’ secret yacht? If you were to design your own yacht, what special features would it contain?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Tips from the T-List