How to say HELLO to an extraterrestrial

5pm Monday 24 August 2009 Sydney time

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August 14, 9:59 AM Denver Phenomenon Research Examiner Larry Rimbert

After writing article after article, day after day, night and night, week after week, something comes along that is fun and exciting! Here is that something! Maybe you can be part of history and have fun at the same time!. Three organizations, Australia's Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, the CSIRO and NASA, have combined efforts to collect and send text messages from the "Hello from Earth" website to transmit to the closest Earth-like planet , that may well contain life, outside of our solar system,

The planet: : Gliese 581d.

Now honestly, how many of you have heard of Gliese 581d? Here are some interesting facts about Gliese 581d and why it is the "chosen" planet!

1. It is a super-Earth - about eight times heavier than Earth.
2. It has three known sister planets which orbit the low-mass red dwarf star Gliese 581 (no "d" here).
3. It is about 20.3 light-years (194 trillion km) away from us, in the constellation Libra.

The habitable zone is indicated as the blue area,
showing that Gliese 581d is located inside the habitable
zone around its low-mass red dwarf star. ESO/Franck Selsis
, University of Bordeaux Courtesy of Hello from Earth

4. It was discovered by Stephane Udry and his team in April 2007 in Switzerland and is considered the "first serious waterworld candidate",
5. According to the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal, in April 2009, Gliese 581d orbits its sun every 66.8 days . This is about one fifth of the distance from the Earth to the Sun which is within the star's habitable zone. (see photo to right)
6. Gliese 581d obits its sun which is one third the size of our Sun and 50 times fainter. It is suggested that from the surface of the planet, its sun would be a dull, red glow in the sky.

Now you have to think to yourself : "Self, how would anything so far away be discovered?" The answer: using something called, High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) spectrograph, (try saying that three times rapidly) which is part of the European Southern Observatory's 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla, Chile. This instrument is so sensitive it picks up minuscule wobbles of starlight caused by the gravitational pull of planets.

So now we know there may be some kind of life out there. What kind of message can you send? Post your message to the "Hello from Earth" website, but remember all comments are moderated, i.e., screened. Any inappropriate messages will de rejected. For proper evaluation, messages must be in English.

Article continues here.

1 comment:

Pablo said...

Man, you have the italian video that you anounce in your twitter? waitin to see that! thanx!

pablo from argentina.

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