Via Newmark's Door, scientists have discovered a planet that just might be able to support life. Dubbed Gliese 581c, it's in the neighborhood, circling a star in the constellation of Libra called, oddly enough, Gliese 581, a mere 20 light years away. Two other planets have been discovered in the system as well. It's a bit bigger than Earth, and it is closer to its sun than Earth is to Sol, but Gliese 581 burns at a lower temperature, so it is within the zone where liquid water could exist on the planet's surface -- thought to be a prerequisite for life. Or at least life as we know it.
I wonder how long it will be before the science fiction writers start cranking out the stories about the first mission to Gliese 581. Do science fiction writers still do that? Follow the science news and incorporate the latest discoveries into their fiction, I mean. If they don't, they should. If I can no longer walk beneath the hurtling moons of Barsoom, I wish to walk beneath the hurtling moons of Gliese 581c.