An artist's impression of the exoplanet Gliese 581d orbiting its red dwarf star.
Gliese 581d Facts
- Gliese 581d is the third planet from its host star in the Gliese 581 system, or the fifth planet if you include two unconfirmed planets.
- Gliese 581d orbits a red dwarf, the star has a mass of around one third of the sun.
- Gliese 581d has a mass of around 7 to 8 times that of Earth, its radius is thought to be around twice that of Earth.
- It is possible that Gliese 581d is tidally locked, with one side of the planet in constant daylight and the other in constant darkness.
- The Gliese 581d exoplanet is classified as a Super Earth.
- The planet receives around 70% less intensity of sunlight than Earth.
- The force of gravity is thought to be around twice as strong on Gliese 581d than it is on Earth.
- It would take a conventional spacecraft almost half a million years to reach the Gliese 581 system.
- Messages from Earth have been sent to the Gliese 581 system, they are due to arrive in 2029.
Telescopic view of the star Gliese 581 which is located 20 light years from Earth.
Gliese 581d OrbitGliese 581d revolves around its host star at a distance of 20.5 million miles (33 million km) and takes 67 days to make one complete orbit.
Gliese 581d AtmosphereTheoretical models based on the planet's orbit suggest that it may possess a thick carbon dioxide based atmosphere. If so it would trap the little heat it receives, warming up the planet.
Gliese 581d HabitabilityGliese 581d is one of the more exciting exoplanets in terms of habitable conditions. It is thought the planet orbits on the edge of the habitable zone and with certain atmospheric conditions it may be warm enough for oceans to exist on it surface.
Gliese 581d StatisticsHost Star: Gliese 581
Host Star Type: Red Dwarf - M Class
Host Star Mass: 31% of Sun
Distance from Earth: 20.3 light years
Planets Detected in System: 4 confirmed, 2 unconfirmed
Discovery Date: 25th April 2007
Detection Method: Radial Velocity
Exoplanet Type: Super Earth
Mass: Around 7.5 x Earth
Diameter: Around 200% greater than Earth depending on composition
Distance from host star: 20.5 million miles (33 million km)
Orbital Period: 67 days
Atmosphere: Unknown, possibly has a dense carbon dioxide based atmosphere.
Temperature: Unknown, based on possible atmospheric conditions the planet may have a mild climate.
Gravity: Around 200% of Earth's gravity depending on composition
Possibility of Life: With certain atmospheric and surface conditions it is possible life could exist on Gliese 581d.
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