‘Super-Earth’ found 21 light years away may host alien life

By: |
London | May 30, 2017 3:56 PM

Scientists have discovered a potentially habitable Earth-like planet, located just 21 light years away, that may host liquid water on its surface.

earth, science, Super Earth, super earth found 21 light years away, alien life, life, planet, Earth like planetScientists have discovered a potentially habitable Earth-like planet, located just 21 light years away, that may host liquid water on its surface. (Reuters)

Scientists have discovered a potentially habitable Earth-like planet, located just 21 light years away, that may host liquid water on its surface. Researchers used the radial velocity technique, which involves measuring the changes in the position and velocity when the star and a planet rotate around their common centre of gravity. Depending on the relative masses of the two objects gravity will determine the magnitude of the change in velocity of the star, which can be measured using its observed spectrum. Scientists from Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) in Canary Islands found that the planet, with a mass between two and three times the Earth, resides at the edge of the habitable zone of its host star GJ625 (Gliese 625).

This is the sixth super-Earth closest to our solar system in the habitability zone of its star, while the red dwarf is among the 100 stars closest to the Sun, researchers said. This planet is particularly interesting because of its proximity. It is only 21 light years away, and is one of the least massive known “Super-Earths”. Red dwarfs are the most common stars in the universe and they can host planets, however, only a few hundred of them are known. The majority have been discovered orbiting much more distant stars, using the transit method, in which the planet causes a minor “eclipse” when it passes in front of the star.

You May Also Like To Watch This:

In contrast, only few rocky planets have been discovered around nearby stars with the radial velocity technique, and very few have been found in their habitability zones, researchers said. The planet take about 14 days to complete one orbit around its star, on a very close one. “As GJ625 is a relatively cool star, the planet is situated at the edge of its habitability zone, in which liquid water can exist on its surface,” said Alejandro Suarez Mascareno from IAC. “In fact, depending on the cloud cover of its atmosphere and on its rotation, it could potentially be habitable,” he said. “In the future, new observing campaigns of photometric observations will be essential to try to detect the transit of this planet across its star, given its proximity to the Sun,” said Jonay Gonzalez Hernandez, also from IAC. “There is a possibility that there are more rocky planets around GJ625 in orbits which are nearer to, or further away from the star, and within the habitability zone, which we will keep on combing,” said Hernandez.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Not so green: The myth of the biodegradable sanitary pads
2Covid-19 and Venous Stroke: Everything you need to know
3Generation Z’s search for identity in the world of social media