Japanese research team of astronomers and planetary scientists has used Subaru Telescope’s two optical cameras, Suprime-Cam and the Faint Object Camera and Spectrograph (FOCAS), with a blue transmission filter to observe planetary transits of super-Earth GJ 1214 b (Gliese 1214 b) (Figure 1).
The team investigated whether this planet has an atmosphere rich in water or hydrogen. The Subaru observations show that the sky of this planet does not show a strong Rayleigh scattering feature, which a cloudless hydrogen-dominated atmosphere would predict. When combined with the findings of previous observations in other colors, this new observational result implies that GJ 1214 b is likely to have a water-rich atmosphere.
Super-Earths are emerging as a new type of exoplanet (i.e., a planet orbiting a star outside of our Solar System) with a mass and radius larger than the Earth’s but less than those of ice giants in our Solar System, such as Uranus or Neptune. Whether super-Earths are more like a “large Earth” or a “small Uranus” is unknown, since scientists have yet to determine their detailed properties. The current Japanese research team of astronomers and planetary scientists focused their efforts on investigating the atmospheric features of one super-Earth, GJ 1214 b, which is located 40 light years from Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus, northwest of the center of our Milky Way galaxy. This planet is one of the well-known super-Earths discovered by Charbonneau et. al. (2009) in the MEarth Project, which focuses on finding habitable planets around nearby small stars. The current team’s research examined features of light scattering of GJ 1214 b’s transit around its star.
Current theory posits that a planet develops in a disk of dense gas surrounding a newly formed star (i.e., a protoplanetary disk). The element hydrogen is a major component of a protoplanetary disk, and water ice is abundant in an outer region beyond a so-called “snow line.” Findings about where super-Earths have formed and how they have migrated to their current orbits point to the prediction that hydrogen or water vapor is a major atmospheric component of a super-Earth. If scientists can determine the major atmospheric component of a super-Earth, they can then infer the planet’s birthplace and formation history.
With Earth depleted of resources and humanity teetering on the brink of extinction, you fill the role of a theoretical physicist leading a team of colonizers destined for a large, super-earth 20 light years away, Gliese. You awake from cryostasis and realize that something has gone terribly wrong; your ship is scattered in pieces and you soon discover you are not alone. With beautiful alien landscapes, and a daunting mission to recover your ship’s wreckage and begin a new home for humanity, your goal is simple, but warrants a struggle for survival.
The 2D, non-linear sidescrolling game will feature character customization, skill trees, resource gathering, crafting & customization, and much more. The inventory is also worth mentioning, offering an updated diablo-like “if it fits” function.
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Here are two of the originals of pictures I did for our new riso printed book Gliese CHZ. It’s a sci-fi art book about a group of friends going on vacation in space. Featuring me, Olle, Pats and HK. You can buy it here, if you want!
This is what a sunrise could look on the planet Gliese 876d. With an orbit well inside Mercury and a mass several times that of Earth, Gliese 876d might rotate so slowly that dramatic differences exist between night and day. It’s imagined to have significant volcanism, possibly caused by gravitational tides flexing and internally heating the planet. The rising red dwarf star shows expected stellar magnetic activity which includes dramatic and violent prominences. In the sky above, a hypothetical moon has its thin atmosphere blown away by the red dwarf’s stellar wind. (Illustration by Inga Nielsen)
Gliese 581 g is an unconfirmed extrasolar planet of the red dwarf star Gliese 581, 20.5 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Libra.
Gliese 581 g has attracted attention because, it is near the middle of the habitable zone of its parent star. That means it could sustain liquid water on its surface and could potentially host life similar to that on Earth. (The planet is expected to have temperatures around -37 to -12°C, however). If it is a rocky planet, favorable atmospheric conditions could permit the presence of liquid water, a necessity for all known life, on its surface. With a mass 3.1 to 4.3 times Earth’s, Gliese 581 g is considered a super-Earth and is the planet closest in size to Earth known in a habitable zone. This makes it the most Earth-like Goldilocks planet found outside the Solar System and the exoplanet with the greatest recognized potential for harboring life.
The detection of Gliese 581 g after such a short period of searching and at such close proximity has led some astronomers to hypothesize that the proportion of stars with habitable planets may be greater than ten percent.
In an interview with Lisa-Joy Zgorski of the National Science Foundation, Steven Vogt was asked what he thought about the chances of life existing on Gliese 581 g. Vogt was optimistic: “I’m not a biologist, nor do I want to play one on TV. Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say that, my own personal feeling is that the chances of life on this planet are 100%. I have almost no doubt about it." In the same article Dr. Seager is quoted as saying "Everyone is so primed to say here’s the next place we’re going to find life, but this isn’t a good planet for follow-up." According to Vogt, the long lifetime of red dwarfs improves the chances of life being present. "It’s pretty hard to stop life once you give it the right conditions”, he said. "Life on other planets doesn’t mean E.T. Even a simple single-cell bacteria or the equivalent of shower mold would shake perceptions about the uniqueness of life on Earth.“
There are actually tons of stars named Gliese, a lot of them have numbers after them like Gliese 581 or Gliese 832. Not sure if that means theres over 800 Gliese's though. But now I'm tempted to imagine over 800 Willows due to some magic gone horribly wrong.