Astronomers Discover a New Planet That Could Support Life -Article Review

Topics: New York City, Gliese 581 d, Astronomy Pages: 3 (1031 words) Published: October 26, 2010
Brad Thompson
Article Review

Astronomers Discover a New Planet That Could Support Life

For this review I will be focusing on an Article from the New York Times titled, New Planet May Be Able to Nurture Organisms, by Dennis Overbye as well as an article from the National Science Foundation titled, Newly Discovered Planet May Be First Truly Habitable Exoplanet. As all of the titles suggest, the topic of interest during this review will be a planet that could sustain life. I will review the accuracy of these findings to ensure the articles provide solid information. I will do this by answering a series of specific questions and if there are any facts that do not add up I will fill in the blanks with the official report from NASA that can be found on Astronomy’s website.

For Both Articles:
1) What is the specific new result being claimed in the articles? Both articles claim that through a recent discovery there is a planet in space with just the right conditions for sustaining life.

2) Is this really a new result? That is, was the new result totally unexpected, was it already anticipated, was it a better measure of a known result, or is it just one of a series of similar claims? Technically speaking the results that the articles discuss are new and yet not new at the same time. However, it would be fair to say that with the discovery of planet Gliese 581g, as it is referred to, we now a better measure of a known result. The known result in this case would be a planet that has water and other necessary conditions for life to thrive. As it is put in the New York Times article this is the first true “Goldilocks” planet. This means that this planet is the first one discovered that has just the right amount of distance from its sun so that life can exist.

3) What is the dominant source of uncertainty in this result and did the reporter tell the readers about it? Although some of the...
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