Astronomers have discovered a planet just 40 light years away that could sustain life and be habitable.
The planet is called Super Earth.
The study was presented on Wednesday and describing Super Earth, also called LHS 1140b.
The planet is 40 light years away and may offer the best chance of discovering life.
Just a few months ago, scientists discovered seven so-called extrasolar planets that could contain life , but the nyupptäckte super planet estimated to be slightly improved.
The high-resolution followup observations enabled researchers to calculate the planet’s orbital parameters and physical characteristics to a high degree of precision: The super-Earth, containing between 4.8 and 8.5 times Earth’s mass, orbits just 0.09 astronomical units from its primary (almost a quarter of the average distance between the Sun and Mercury). The planet spans around 1.4 Earths. Combine its mass and radius and you’ll calculate an incredibly dense 12.5 g/cm3 — the planet has more than twice Earth’s average density!
According to Jason Dittman at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics teaches planet mean the best chance so far in the search for life outside our own solar system.
“It’s the most exciting exoplanet I’ve seen in the last ten years,” said Jason Dittman on the center’s website.
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Research team member Dr Nicola Astudillo-Defru, of Geneva Observatory in Switzerland, said: “The present conditions of the red dwarf are particularly favourable – LHS 1140 spins more slowly and emits less high-energy radiation than other similar low-mass stars.”
For life as we know it to exist, scientists say a planet must have liquid surface water and retain an atmosphere.
When red dwarf stars are young, they are known to emit radiation that can be damaging for the atmospheres of the planets that orbit them.
In this case, researchers say the planet’s large size means that a magma ocean could have existed on its surface for millions of years.