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Alien Earths
May 22, 2010

Join leading astronomers on a visual journey beyond our solar system in search of planets like Earth.

Using CGI animation, weíll explore bizarre worlds that stretch our imagination: planets with iron rain and hot ice, with diamonds everywhere, and endless oceans of gas.

Planets with abnormal orbital patterns and planets with no pattern at all that drift alone in the Milky Way. Planets so strange we never could have predicted them before. Could life exist there?

In the search for another Earth, astronomers hope to discover other terrestrial planets. These bodies may have a rocky terrain and may even hold water on their surfaces.

The most Earth-like planet discovered thus far is Gliese 581c, which orbits near the area known as the habitable zone.

This elusive zone, also called the ďGoldilocks Zone,Ē lies between the star and its planets, and may allow life to survive - it is not too hot and not too cold - on the surface of a planet.




Alien Worlds
by SpaceRip

This is a compilation of Space Rip videos explaining the nature of the worlds beyond our solar system (above video).

The first video talks about a star named Fomalhaut, which supposedly has a planet orbiting around it.

Fomalhaut is much hotter than our sun and 15 times as bright. In fact, itís one of the brightest stars in our night sky. What makes it so curious is the large ring of gas that surrounds it. The ring is slightly off center from the location of the sun.

That suggests thereís a gravitational presence, a planet, thatís distorting its shape. With a coronagraph in place to block the starís light, Hubble zeroed in on the ring. Right there in the data, it turns out, was a bump, perhaps a planet.

Hubble photographed this planet a second time, two years later when it had progressed in its orbit. Based on the change in position, astronomers calculated that it takes about 872 Earth-years to complete an orbit.

The rest of the videos talk about the formation of the planets; how solar systems and planets evolve; portrait of Gliese 581; the beauty of stars being born; NASA debunking the wacky 2012 claims; exo-planets; etc.