Astronomers have discovered a planet the size of Earth which orbits its host star within the habitable zone – meaning its surface could support liquid water life.
Astronomers in search of alien life will take heart in this discovery, which indicates that rocky planets are far more widespread than previously assumed.
Astronomers using data from the Kepler telescope have discovered an Earth-like planet named Kepler-1649c that orbits 300 light years away and takes 19.5 days to complete an orbit around its star. Furthermore, Kepler-1649c appears to have an opaque atmosphere which traps heat, possibly making the temperature warm enough for liquid water to exist on its surface.
Scientists stumbled across an Earth-like exoplanet by reexamining old Kepler data that had been misclassified by computer algorithms as false positives. A global team of scientists sifted through this exoplanet data and discovered its similarities to our planet in both size and temperature; close enough to its parent star that one side may even be tidally locked against it, keeping one face facing toward our sun while another faces away from it.
Although other exoplanets may come close in size and temperature to our own planet, this one stands out as being unique. But NASA cautions that this new planet could still be poor candidate for life due to its red dwarf parent star that frequently flares and causes deadly radiation storms; plus it’s hard to determine the mass of this mysterious world which could either be gas giant or water world depending on where its orbit lies.
Astronomers remain optimistic despite these worries regarding the discovery of this potentially habitable exoplanet. Being so close to its host star ensures its atmosphere will contain abundant carbon dioxide and methane gases, trapping heat to enable liquid water formation – essential components for life on this world.
Kepler-1649c’s planet characteristics are particularly encouraging as an M-type star is less active than our Sun and could allow the third planet in this system, a Neptune-sized world closer to Kepler-1649c than ever before, to become habitable as well.
NASA’s Kepler mission recently achieved an important milestone when they announced the discovery of Earth-like planet. For the first time ever, an Earth-like planet has been discovered within its star’s habitable zone and scientists believe its surface to be composed of rocks – but are uncertain of its composition and composition. Understanding how widespread such planets are will provide a better picture of their prevalence throughout space; scientists will submit a proposal to NASA in order to further study them and their characteristics.
Kepler-186f is less than 10% larger in radius than Earth and orbits its host star every 130 days in Cygnus constellation. As an outer edge habitable zone planet it could support liquid water on its surface; and because its host star is red dwarf it has approximately half the mass as our Sun.
Astronomers identified this planet using data from the Kepler telescope, which monitors thousands of stars simultaneously. It detects tiny dips in star brightness when an Earth-sized planet passes in front of it and this data provides valuable insight into a planet’s size, mass and surface temperature – as well as potentially providing clues as to whether it has atmosphere and is habitable.
Researchers are thrilled by this discovery as it proves Earth-sized planets exist within habitable zones around other stars, fulfilling one of the main goals of Kepler mission. A large telescope will now study this planet to ascertain whether or not its atmosphere supports life as we know it; in addition, water may exist on its surface.
Another remarkable discovery is the possibility that this planet might host alien life. While receiving ample radiation from its star, its orbit places it in the cooler outer portion of its habitable zone – potentially making life-sustaining conditions harder to achieve on this world. There could even be periodic glacial periods changing its chemistry and making survival more challenging.
TOI 700 e
Scientists have recently discovered a rocky planet roughly 95% the size of Earth orbiting a nearby star, and believe it to be among the most Earth-like ever discovered. Scientists have named it TOI 700e and anticipate it will likely remain tidally locked – meaning that one side always faces towards its host star at any given time – for at least another 30 million years or more. In addition, its position within its star’s habitable zone suggests it may support liquid water on its surface.
Discovered using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, launched in 2018. TESS monitored large areas of sky for 27 days at a time in order to detect changes in star brightness caused by planets passing in front of stars, enabling scientists to use this data in identifying two planets in the TOI 700 system: TOI 700d and TOI 700e; the latter planet taking 28 days longer to complete an orbit around its host star than its larger sibling d.
TOI 700e’s close proximity to its star and size make it an excellent target for further study with space telescopes, including the James Webb Space Telescope. The team hopes that further investigation of TOI 700 e might reveal evidence of water, which may give clues as to life elsewhere in our solar system.
TOI 700e lies within its host star’s habitable zone – known as Goldilocks Zone – meaning its distance means it does not become either too hot or cold, and could support liquid water on its surface should an atmosphere exist on it.
TOI 700e lies close to its host star’s habitable zone, making it an excellent subject for further study with space observatories like James Webb Space Telescope which will launch in 2021. Scientists hope that with its advanced detection techniques it may detect water vapor and other gases present in its atmosphere, which may provide clues as to its habitability.
Astronomers have discovered an extrasolar planet with similarities to Earth. Dubbed OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, its mass is approximately five times that of our home planet and orbits a red dwarf star located 25,000 light years away. Due to its large orbit and cool parent star, its probable composition includes cold temperatures with rocky cores and thin atmospheres likely present; its surface temperature measures 53 Kelvins below zero which equates to 220 degrees Celsius below freezing point.
This was discovered by the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) and PLANET microlensing search teams with members from 12 countries contributing. On August 10, several telescopes, including Denmark’s 1.54-m telescope at ESO La Silla Observatory in Chile, observed what at first resembled a typical single lens event before they noticed a short-lived deviation caused by gravitational fields from nearby planets that persisted for several hours before eventually dissipating altogether.
An analysis of the lensing light curve ruled out all but one solution involving planet and host star. The preferred option yields component masses (Mhost and Mplanet) between 3.09-1.12+1.02 MJ with projected companion-host separation of 0.49-0.32 kpc. Additionally, lensed events occurred near Galactic bulge; which corresponds with their relative proper motion I 1/4 = 3.2mas/yr1.
The light curve of this lensed system suggests it is an extremely low-mass brown dwarf, approximately five times less massive than our Sun. Its orbit is far removed from its host star and takes approximately ten years for each cycle, roughly three times longer than Jupiter’s orbit around our Sun. Based on these assumptions, this new planet likely features cold temperatures with rocky cores and thin atmospheres. However, its orbit could be elliptical and therefore have an active layer of liquid water below its ice line. This discovery encourages intensified microlensing planet searches with current and future ground facilities as well as space-based campaigns; these will enable us to conduct a census of cool rocky/icy planets around red dwarfs as well as test models of their formation.