Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Potentially habitable exoplanet found

The star Gliese 581 hosts an Earth-size planet (foreground) that orbits in the star's habitable zone. Artwork by Lynette Cook. [from press release]

UC Santa Cruz
September 29, 2010
A proud day for UC Santa Cruz

We are thrilled to share some breaking news with you about research led by UC Santa Cruz astronomer Steven Vogt. At a press briefing in Washington, D.C., Steve's team just announced the discovery of what may be the first truly habitable planet outside our solar system.
The discovery of an Earth-sized planet where liquid water could exist on the surface has long been considered a major milestone for planet hunters. This breakthrough constitutes the first strong case for a planet that could sustain life, and it raises profound questions about the possible existence of billions of similar planets within our own Milky Way.
We congratulate Steve and his UCSC colleague, associate research scientist Eugenio Rivera, as well as Paul Butler at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the rest of their team. This is another example of the discipline-transforming work led by UCSC researchers. We are very proud of their accomplishments.
To learn more about today's news, please read the campus press release.
George R. Blumenthal, Chancellor
Alison Galloway, Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor

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