Valin Posted January 7, 2015 Share Posted January 7, 2015 Washington Post: Terrence McCoy January 7 2014 In the universe of space news, Tuesday was a pretty big day. Scientists announced the discovery of two exoplanets that they claim are the “most similar to Earth of any known exoplanets to date.” Exciting stuff to be sure. But how certain are such announcements? And why do some of them end up being bogus? In late September of 2010, there was a day a lot like Tuesday. NASA had just proclaimed the discovery of a new exoplanet. It even released one of those fancy artist’s conceptions, portraying a planet that looked just like Earth. News of this new planet, Gliese 581g, raised a slew of exciting interstellar questions that seemed plucked from an episode of “Star Trek.” Did Gliese 581g, one of four planets orbiting its sun, have air? What about water? Could we build houses on Gliese 581g? Scientists were positive Gliese 581g could answer the biggest question of all: Are we alone? “Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say that the chances for finding life on [Gliese 581g] are 100 percent,” Steven Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz told Discovery News then. “I have almost no doubt about it.” Turns out, however, that Gliese 581g didn’t have any life because it didn’t even exist. According to an article published last summer in Science, the alleged planet was in fact stellar activity “masquerading as planets.” (Snip) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ H/T Eric Metaxas Maybe we are alone. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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