physics and astronomy blogs
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[ Originally posted at our new home at Scientific American. ] It's Chemistry Day at the Scientific American blog network, and while casting about for a relevant physics-related topic, I found my inspiration in the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day . John Connor is in mortal danger again, this time from a new, improved Terminator machine known as the T-1000. The original killing machine (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) is now the "good guy," having been reprogrammed to act as Connor's protector. [ Note: Spoilers follow. But if you haven't seen the movie yet, what's the matter with you?
Well now, this is an interesting discovery: astronomers have found what looks like a "super-Earth" – a planet more massive than Earth but still smaller than a gas giant – orbiting a nearby star at the right distance to have liquid water on it! Given that, it might – might – be Earthlike. This is pretty cool news. We’ve found planets like this before , but not very many!