It seems to me that “Earthlike” is overused in the media. One always ends up using too many qualifiers. Gliese 876’s orbit is very un-Earthlike, and its mass is too. Let’s wait until the star-to-planet distance of a future exoplanet ranges from that of Venus to Mars and the mass is no more than twice that of Earth or Venus. And since so little is known about Gliese 876, it’s not obvious to me that even the artist’s rendition contributes anything at this time.

Dennis Blanchard
San Jose, Calif.