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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Scientists discover two potentially habitable Super-Earths 11 light years away

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Scientists have discovered a new multi-planetary system 11 light years from Earth that offers possibilities for sheltering life.

The planets revolve around Gliese 887, a star quite similar to our Sun. It is a red dwarf star with a mass that is half the mass of the sun and is located 11 light years from Earth according to reports.

The discovery was made on the basis of data from space telescopes such as the Kepler and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). The study was published in the journal Science based on decades of data.

The system could potentially have two or up to three planets that offer intriguing possibilities for extraterrestrial life, which would likely make it a viable target for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to be launched in 2021.

“GJ 887 is an unusual host star because it is relatively inactive, and the planetary system happens to be very close to our Sun. This makes the system a good candidate for study with the future James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), ”reads the report.

According to a Reuters report, only 12 other stars of this type are closer to our solar system.

According to the report, one of the planets orbits Gliese 887 every nine days and the other every 21 days. The third planet takes 50 days to orbit the star. The potential of the third planet in terms of habitability remains to be confirmed.

The other two planets are in the habitable zone, or the Goldilocks zone, which makes them neither too hot nor too cold, which gives it the potential ability to keep liquid water on the surface and to shelter life, according to the report.

“These are” super-Earth “planets, which means they are sometimes the mass of Earth and should have a solid core like Earth, unlike large gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn,” said l astronomer Sandra Jeffers of the University of Göttingen in Germany, lead author of the research published this week in the journal Science cited by Reuters.

“The newly detected planets are the best possibilities of all known planets near the sun to see if they have atmospheres and to study these atmospheres in detail,” he added.

Earlier this month, scientists discovered another pair of star exoplanets that looked like our Earth-Sun system.

Max Kepler-160 and planet KOI-456 have been found to be quite similar to the Sun and Earth, more than any other planets previously discovered, according to a Max-led team of scientists, making the planet more auspicious. to the life. Planck Institute for Research on Solar Systems (MPS) in Göttingen, Germany.

The pair is located 3,000 light years from Earth.

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