E

Gl 581

0.25 AU

Figure 8.11. Scale diagram showing the locations of the three known planets in orbit about Gliese 581. The filled circles indicate the positions of the putative Titius-Bode planets (see Vignette F at the end of this chapter). As an indication of scale, the entire Gliese 581 system would fit inside the orbit of Mercury within our own Solar System.

Also of note with respect to this star is that a recent publication by Franck Selsis (Universite de Lyon, France) and co-workers has suggested that the habitable zone of the system might reasonably be extended to incorporate the orbit of Gliese 581d (the outermost of the three planets) itself, a result that opens up the possibility of moon life.

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