Gliese 581g
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Basic Information

Located in the Gliese 581 star system, a Red Dwarf located in the constellation of Libra, Gliese 581g is the sixth planet in that system to be discovered. If it exists.

The planet was discovered by measuring the radial velocity of the star with the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) instrument at the La Silla Observatory in Chile combined with observations made from the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) instrument of the Keck 1 telescope at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. Astronomers do not agree if the planet exists, however, because other analyses of HARPS data reveal no such planet.

If it does exist, Gliese 581g would be the fourth planet from its sun and would lie within the Goldilocks Zone where liquid water can exist and humans could concievably live. It would very likely be tide-locked, however, with one side eternally facing its sun and the other side facing away. It would also be close enough to the star to suffer from frequent solar flares. These would not necessarily make the planet unihabitable, if it has a dense enough atmosphere, but it wouldn't exactly be a fun place to live.

The discoverer, Steven S. Vogt, and his research team informally call the planet "Zarmina's World", after Vogt's wife. The IAU has not as of yet sanctioned this nomeculture.


2. Gliese 581g Probably Exists After All — includes some fun speculation on what the planetary conditions might be like.

Game and Story Use

  • Gliese 581g might be an interesting place to visit in a space opera campaign, or a model for a similar planet.
  • The harsh conditions on a tide-locked world could make a good setting for a survival-themed game
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