May 18

(Fast Company) Scientists have found a planet that is the best candidate yet to be Earth-like and capable of supporting life. It’s called Gliese 581d, and the weather is lovely.

There are no days on Gliese 581d; one side is perpetually light and one side is perpetually dark. People thought this would mean that the night side would be perpetually frozen. But a new study by the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique at the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace found that because of the local star’s red light that penetrates deep into the heavy carbon atmosphere, the planet regulates heat quite well. Downside: It will always be a sort of red-hued dusk. And gravity is twice as strong, meaning it won’t be too pleasant to walk around. But at least we’ll be able to live there.

The problem, as with most things in space, is the distance. At 20 light years away, it would take 300,000 years [with current propulsion technology] to get there.

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[Image is of the red moon, not of Gliese 581d, but you get the idea.  Image provided by Flickr user +gAbY+]

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