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First “Goldilocks” Exoplanet Discovered by NASA-funded Researchers
A team of planet hunters led by astronomers at the University of California (UC), Santa Cruz and the Carnegie Institution of Washington has announced the discovery of a planet orbiting a nearby star, Gliese 581, at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star's "habitable zone." This would be the most Earth-like exoplanet and the first truly habitable one yet discovered.

The research was supported by grants from NASA and the National Science Foundation.

“Goldilocks” refers to an exoplanet whose temperatures are “not too cold, not too hot, but just right” to maintain water and support Earth-like life.

TRT- 00:56
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Doug Hudgins, NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program Scientist, Washington

Cut 1 – 00:14 -“The Goldilocks zone is the range of orbits around any star where it is neither too hot nor too cold but just right for liquid water to exist on the surface and that is the key ingredient for the existence of life.”
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Doug Hudgins, NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program Scientist, Washington

Cut 2 - 00:42 – “Gliese 581G has an orbit of just about 37 days, around the star, when you listen to that you think, “Wow that must be way too close to the star for there to be life because that is a short orbit so this is shorter than the orbit of Mercury around our own Sun it must be terribly hot.” Actually that is not the case, because Gliese 581 like I said a red dwarf star much cooler than our Sun, emits much less radiation so in fact those planets need to snuggle up a lot closer to the star in order to get that warmth.  So in fact the habitable zone around Gliese 581 is much closer to that star than in our own solar system”
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