Astronomy Picture of the Day

Sunrise from the Surface of Gliese 581c

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#100114 by @ 03.05.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Sunrise from the Surface of Gliese 581c

How might a sunrise appear on Gliese 581c? One artistic guess is shown above.

Gliese 581c is the most
Earth-like planet
yet discovered and lies a mere 20

The central
red dwarf is small and redder than
our Sun
but one of the orbiting planets has recently been discovered to be in the
habitable zone where liquid water could exist on its surface.

Although this planet is much different from
Earth, orbiting much closer than
Mercury and containing five times the mass of Earth,
it is now a candidate to hold not only
oceans but life
enabled by the oceans.

Were future observations to confirm liquid water,
Gliese 581c might become a worthy destination or
way station for future
interstellar travelers from Earth.

Drawn above in the hypothetical, the red dwarf star
Gliese 581
rises through clouds above a calm ocean of its planet Gliese 581c.

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