The real-life Solnyx? Although this post does cover Gliese 581g it has recently been found to not exist. I will still discuss this planet as there may be another one out there!
Gliese 581g or Zarmina is a rocky planet two to three times bigger than the Earth and much bigger than Solnyx. It orbits a red dwarf star and is located in the constellation of Libra. The planet is near the middle of the habitable zone of its star and means it could have liquid water and host similar life to that of Earth.
Zarmina is tidally locked to its star and has a denser atmosphere than Earth’s. Solnyx is locked to its star but not tidally locked as it has a rotation of its own and its axis points to the star. Zarmina does not turn on an axis or rotate and it is thought that one side is too hot for life and the other side is too cold. However the place where the light and dark merge is perfect for the evolution of life.
More recent theories have suggested that if the correct composition of carbon-dioxide and water are present and coupled with atmospheric heat transport, the density would keep temperatures moderate and heat would travel to the dark side.
Just today I found out that the planet does not exist and was merely an “artefact of stellar activity which, when incompletely corrected, causes the false detection of planet g” – Paul Robertson from Penn State University.
Although Gliese 581g may not be real, tidally locked celestial bodies are not uncommon. Our Moon, Mercury, Europa and Titan being just a few.
It is worth mentioning other potentially habitable planets. I’d like to consider Kepler 186f. Like Solnyx, it orbits a small, cool star. It has yet to be discovered if liquid water exists on the planet and it is suspected that such a small star may be more active and so potential organisms would be battered by solar flares. Luckily for Solnyx it is protected by its strong magnetic field.
Published yesterday! The latest discovery is a new planet that could support life, it doesn’t seem to have been named yet but it is around 3000 light years away.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert in this area, I am simply a researcher / writer and I like to talk about inspirational media, so please don’t take any of these points as ‘set-in-stone’ facts.