back to article Planet with British weather found 20 light years away

A group of boffins claims to have spied the "first discovered terrestrial-mass exoplanet in the habitable zone", the BBC reports. The planet in question is orbiting the much-studied star Gliese 581, some 20 light-years away in the constellation Libra. Of the possible worlds circling the red M-class sun, Gliese 581d had already …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Science Win

    +1 to science.

  2. Peter Ford


    That's my home town you're talking about...

    "The atmosphere is, in common with our own Middlesbrough, toxic"

    Surely you're thinking of (nearby, across the Tees) Billingham.

    Middlesbrough's toxic-atmosphere-generating industries went the way of the dodo years ago...

  3. Anomalous Cowturd

    Nurse, could I have some wipes please.

    > The atmosphere is, in common with our own Middlesbrough, toxic.


  4. Anonymous Coward

    Don't worry about Bebo!

    If the aliens show up, we can in all honesty tell them that we killed Bebo. Then we can all party like [SPOILER ALERT] the end of Return of the Jedi.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I was on a conference call when I read the title

      ...and had to reach for the mute button. Well done!


      1. Anonymous Coward

        Reply to post: <snip> when I read the title

        I second that, I nearly choked on my chipolata. That made my day.

    2. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Oi!

      A fair point. Is the planet-hugging ICI plant still over the water?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Cultural Attache to the Riverside

        Speaking as one of the much maligned Middlesbrough citizens, F**k Off!

        That feels better.

        However your spot on with your later comments on the Medway towns.

        1. Piezor

          now now

          The one thing we have going for us living in the boro is that we can live on this new toxic planet.

          Wonder if they do Parmos there?

          1. John H Woods Silver badge


            for parmos

            1. Danny 14 Silver badge

              its ok

              just blame it on the monkeyhangers. Fecking macams.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      A definite +1 to science... I'd be interested to know how many people who slag off climate models will be taking interest in this though...

  5. amanfromearth
    Dead Vulture

    toxic atmosphere ... potentially habitable

    By what lifeform exactly?

    1. John Sturdy

      Tardigrades, of course

      That's why they're experimenting with sending tardigrades into space.

    2. Monkey Bob



      Tabloid journalists?


      Come on, use your imagination, the punchlines write themselves...

      1. DJV Silver badge

        @Monkey Bob

        Since when do politicians and tabloid journalists count as "life" (well, maybe, but certainly not life as we know it, Jim)

    3. Volker Hett

      no title here

      by those life forms inhabiting Middelsborough

    4. Gannon (J.) Dick

      Hmmm ...

      The search is on for a doppelgänger "Planet of surly French Waiters". Apparently the Aliens have yet to catch on to all the traditional English invasion defenses which seem to center around lousy food when Weather fails.

  6. Chad H.

    But what we really want to know is...

    Is the top 3rd of this planet trying to convince everyone that its a separate planet?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Would I be able to move there and claim benefits and housing?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      To Late!

      @Would I be able to move there and claim benefits and housing?

      Half of None UK Europe are already on the first starship. Sorry, but all places taken.

      1. DannyAston

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

        BNP El Ref?

      2. Your Retarded

        Half of none.... still none.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    All Hail!

    I for one welcome our future overlords from Gliese 581d, and look forward to fry up breakfasts and bangers and mash.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    20 light years away?

    So they've got 1991 telly. That means they're coming to the end of McGyver. Sad time for any culture.

    1. ZankerH


      On the other hand, the way they see it the cold war just ended and Linus is this close to releasing his open source OS kernel.

  10. Paul RND*1000

    "cold, rainy and just about capable of supporting life"

    Sounds just like my hometown. All it needs to complete the comparison is no cinema, no nightlife, a body of water so chemically polluted only algae can survive near it, nothing open on a Sunday or after 6pm any other day, so many shoe shops that it's dangling on the edge of the shoe event horizon, and a bunch of young louts doing laps around the one-way system in their chavved-up land speeders.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: "cold, rainy and just about capable of supporting life"

      How are the Medway Towns?

      1. Minophis

        Re Re: "cold, rainy and just about capable of supporting life"

        Speaking as a former resident and regular return visitor to the Medway Towns I would like express my outrage and offence at that comment....

        Unfortunately I can't, the Medway Towns are still truly soul destryingly awful.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I hope the shoe shop bit was deliberate....

      God I'm a geek.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        How could it not be!

        Can I press the button now, Teach.

        Oooooh, that's nice.

  11. johnnymotel
    Thumb Down

    straws & clutching

    come to mind

  12. Pete 43
    Thumb Up


    We could borrow money from them

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Correction needed...

    "Planet with Northern weather found 20 light years away, expected invasion of Southern England by 581g aliens in shell suits imminent"

    There, that's better.

  14. Gert Selkobi


    > Cold, rainy, inhabitants likely to be hostile

    > The atmosphere is, in common with our own Middlesbrough, toxic.

    Lester, I salute you. Supoib!

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Not VERY Earth-like, really

    Surface gravity between 16 and 25g, apparently. That's kind of outside the acceptable range, I think.

    1. nyelvmark


      I guess I can stop looking for enough room in the garage to build a spaceship, then.

    2. Gannon (J.) Dick

      Thanks, missed that.

      The Travel Brochures say "A well grounded culture".

    3. LaeMing Bronze badge

      All the more reason

      to stay in bed all day.

    4. TeeCee Gold badge

      Alien Invasion?

      That's heavy man........

    5. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      @Robert Long 1

      It depends on what kind of earth-like life you are thinking of. If you think of bacteria or other single-celled organisms, then gravity is probably not too much of a problem. If you think of higher lifeforms, then gravity will be a big factor.

    6. MrT

      Heavy rain...

      "Why, on Gliese 581d, the rain beats down so hard, it makes your head bleed!"

      "So some sort of hat is probably in order?"


      Watch out for the hailstorms.

  16. frank ly Silver badge

    It could be worse

    Does it have a ConDem government?

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    OMG "Earthlike" planet in <100 light years of Earth.

    Which is pretty impressive as most of the planets found so far all seem to be > 100 LY from Earth, often by quite a bit.

    20LY seems almost "local".

    The 16-25g surface gravity does not sound so appealing. That's roughly the mercury abort re-entry force *all* the time.

  18. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    I guess the giants of sci-fi were wrong....

    I mean, how is mankind ever going to migrate to the stars if your only option is moving to the extra-terrestrial version of Newcastle??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Worse than that, it's Labour, and has now been replaced by a single giant CCTV camera pointed at Earth.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Labour would be a good thing.

        It wouldn't matter whether or not they wanted to invade us, their economy would be so far down the crapper that they wouldn't be able to afford to build the fleet to do it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          They'd borrow the money from a neighbouring star whilst saying "sure we'll pay you back!"

          Also They used the other planet in the system to house the entire population in a single giant prison, having decided that they are just criminals waiting to commit a crime. (tbh that's just all democratically elected types driven by the intergalactic star franchise "Intergal Mail" and "Binary Sun")

    2. Mike Richards Silver badge

      And what have NASA just fired into space?

      Squid would laugh at 25g - and still sucker your face off into the bargain.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    Thats a bit high, however it would be interesting to see what strange life forms evolved in such conditions.

    What I am wondering is if there is an "Exomoon" circling one of the planets in the Gliese system which is more Earth-like, and non tidally locked due to interaction between the "hot Jupiter" and star.

    Expect a signal from there around 21/05/11.

    AC, because this is classified MJ-12 ATS .


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