Two Earth Like Planets Found

 

 

 

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Two Earth Like Planets Found

20th June 2019 by keith

Astronomers discover two Earth-like planets orbiting one of the smallest stars ever found

  • Teegarden’s star sits just 12.5 light-years away and reaches about 2,700 °C
  • Researchers have now spotted two planets orbiting within its habitable zone
  • They say the planets are slightly heavier than Earth and could host liquid water

Scientists have discovered two Earth-like planets orbiting a star just 12.5 light-years away.

The newly-found worlds sit within the habitable zone of Teegarden’s star, a star said to be among the smallest measured yet.

Observations so far suggest the pair may share similarities to planets situated closer to the sun in our own solar system, though Teegarden’s star doesn’t get quite as hot.

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Scientists have discovered two Earth-like planets orbiting a star just 12.5 light-years away. The newly-found worlds sit within the habitable zone of Teegarden’s star, a star said to be among the smallest measured yet

Teegarden’s star is one of our solar system’s closest neighbors and reaches about 2,700 °C.

It’s roughly 10 times lighter than the sun.

In a new paper published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, scientists have detailed the likely existence of two planets in its vicinity.

These were detected in an unusual way; instead of the typical ‘transit’ method, in which planets can be seen passing in front of their star, the position of the two new worlds allowed them to be detected passing in front of our sun.

According to the team, the data are a clear indication of their existence.

‘The two planets resemble the inner planets of our solar system,’ said lead author Mathias Zechmeister of the Institute for Astrophysics at the University of Göttingen.

 

They are only slightly heavier than Earth and are located in the so-called habitable zone, where water can be present in liquid form.’

Teegarden’s star was only discovered in 2003, and there is still much to be learned about the system.

It may even contain other planets beyond the two described in the new study, the authors say.

‘Many stars are apparently surrounded by systems with several planets,’ explains co-author Professor Stefan Dreizler.

These were detected in an unusual way; instead of the typical ‘transit’ method, in which planets can be seen passing in front of their star, the position of the two new worlds allowed them to be detected passing in front of our sun. This is illustrated above

In a new paper published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, scientists have detailed the likely existence of two planets in its vicinity. Observations so far suggest the pair may share similarities to planets situated closer to the sun in our own solar system.

The discovery is the latest success from the Carmenes project, which was ‘specifically designed to search for planets around the lightest stars,’ the team says.

Whether the planets are habitable is still a mystery. But, but according to the team, if someone were to stand on the surface, they’d be able to see our own home looking back.

That is, using the traditional technique of searching for planets.

‘An inhabitant of the new planets would therefore have the opportunity to view the Earth using the transit method,’ says Professor Ansgar Reiners.

WHAT IS THE GOLDILOCKS ZONE?

The habitable zone is the range of orbits around a star in which a planet can support liquid water.

This habitable zone is also known as the ‘Goldilocks’ zone, taken from the children’s fairy tale.

The temperature from the star needs to be ‘just right’ so that liquid water can exist on the surface.

The boundaries of the habitable zone are critical.

If a planet is too close to its star, it will experience a runaway greenhouse gas effect, like Venus.

But if it’s too far, any water will freeze, as is seen on Mars.

Since the concept was first presented in 1953, many stars have been shown to have a Goldilocks area, and some of them have one or several planets in this zone, like ‘Kepler-186f’, discovered in 2014.

Nasa Discovers A Twin Earth

19th April 2019 by keith

 

 

Kepler-186f, the First Earth-size Planet in the Habitable Zone

A newly discovered planet nicknamed “Earth’s cousin” has just been found 490 light-years from Earth.

The planet, called Kepler-186f, is the first Earth-size planet found in the habitable zone of its star. Only about 10 percent larger than Earth, Kepler-186f is the closest planet to Earth in size ever found in the habitable zone of its star. What else do you need to know about the new alien planet discovery?

Here are five things to keep in mind about Kepler-186f:

Kepler-186f is the first Earth-size alien planet found in the habitable zone of its star. That means the planet, which is only slightly larger than Earth, is in the part of its star system where liquid water could exist on the planet`s surface.

Astronomers have found other planets in the habitable zones of their stars, but this is the first time a planet this close in size to Earth has ever been found in the habitable zone of its star.

“This is an historic discovery of the first truly Earth-size planet found in the habitable zone around its star,” University of California, Berkeley astronomer Geoff Marcy, who is unaffiliated with the new research, said. “This is the best case for a habitable planet yet found. The results are absolutely rock solid. The planet itself may not be [rocky], but I’d bet my house on it. In any case, it’s a gem.”

Scientists discovered the planet in data collected by NASA’s Kepler space telescope.

Life could thrive … maybe

Because of Kepler-186’s location in the habitable zone around its star, the planet might be a place where life can thrive. It’s possible that the planet has an atmosphere that can help keep water in liquid form on the surface, a prerequisite for life as it is known on Earth.

Kepler-186f is on the outer edge of the habitable zone, so it is possible that the planet’s water could freeze. Its larger size, however, could mean the planet has a thicker atmosphere, insulating the planet, San Francisco State University astronomer and study co-author Stephen Kane said in a statement.

Although they know the alien world is in its star’s habitable zone, scientists still aren’t sure what the planet’s atmosphere consists of, and they cannot say with certainty that Kepler-186f could support life. The planet is Earth-sized, but it might not be Earth-like.

“Some people call these habitable planets, which of course we have no idea if they are,” Kane said in a statement. “We simply know that they are in the habitable zone, and that is the best place to start looking for habitable planets.”

It is one of five planets in the Kepler-186 star system

Kepler-186f is one of five planets found in the extrasolar system located about 490 light-years from Earth. The newly discovered exoplanet orbits about 32.5 million miles (52.4 million kilometers) from its sun. It takes Kepler-186f about 130 days to orbit its red dwarf star.

The other four planets orbiting the star, however, are not in that “Goldilocks zone.”

“The four companion planets — Kepler-186b, Kepler-186c, Kepler-186d and Kepler-186e — whiz around their sun every four, seven, 13 and 22 days, respectively, making them too hot for life as we know it,” NASA officials said in a statement. “These four inner planets all measure less than 1.5 times the size of Earth.” [10 Exoplanets That Could Host Alien Life]

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