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False Starts: Potentially Habitable Exoplanets

posted Oct 28, 2014, 10:57 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Oct 28, 2014, 10:59 PM ]
Here is a list of the first claims of potentially habitable exoplanets that later were found to be incorrect. Now we know that Gliese 581 c is too hot, Gliese 581 d and g do not exist, and HD 85012 is too hot. Only Gliese 667C c survives today as the first confirmed potentially habitable exoplanet. Exoplanet detection and characterization is a very hard science. Original press release and paper links included.
  1. Gliese 581 c (too hot): Astronomers find first habitable Earth-like planet. (24-Apr-2007). Paper
  2. Gliese 581 d (does not exist)Gliese 581: 1 planet might indeed be habitable (13-Dec-2007). Paper
  3. Gliese 581 g (does not exist)Newly discovered planet may be first truly habitable exoplanet (29-Sep-2010). Paper
  4. HD 85512 b (too hot)50 new exoplanets discovered by HARPS (12-Sep-2011). Paper
  5. Gliese 667C c (so far ok): New super-Earth detected within the habitable zone of a nearby cool star (2-Feb-2012). Paper
This list was created as part of a presentation on the history of the search for habitable worlds.