SPAIN: Two planets that are as huge as Earth and might support life have now been discovered by astronomers.
Earth like exoplanets discovered
The list of planets outside our solar system is constantly expanding as astronomy attempts to probe the furthest reaches of the universe and examine the instants immediately following the big bang.
If a planet has the right kind of atmosphere, it might be possible for liquid water to form on its surface. GJ 1002 b and c are perfectly positioned in relation to their star.
Astronomers are even more excited about this new discovery because it is located in the same zone from the Sun known as the habitable zone (Goldilocks zone) as Earth.
The nearest planet, planet b, has a mass slightly higher than Earth’s and a year that only lasts 10 days. Planet c, on the other hand, has a mass roughly one-third that of Earth and orbits its star in around 20 days.
The star known as GJ 1002 is thought by astronomers to be old enough to have outgrown its youthful outbursts and now appears peaceful.
According to Researchers, it’s even possible that the early flaring led to the planets’ surface formation of a range of substances that may later, during the star’s quiet period, be used by any developing life forms that may be present.
The details of the discovery have been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics under the heading “Two temperate Earth-mass planets orbiting the neighbouring star GJ 1002.”
The team of scientists, led by Alejandro Surez Mascareno of the University of La Laguna in Spain, used radial velocity data to find the two new planets. This technique includes seeing the parent star’s “wobbles” brought on by tugging from circling planets.
The star’s light shifts toward the red end of the spectrum when the planets approach the star’s far side and drag it away from us.
The planets pull the star toward our direction as they move toward the star’s near side, turning the star’s light blue.
The team stated that such minute movements are challenging to detect. The planetary drags on GJ 1002 are modest, travelling at roughly 4.3 feet per second, or 4.8 kilometres per hour.
The researchers employed spectrographs to analyse light fluctuations, and later investigations revealed two Earth-like planets hanging out nearby.
The two discovered planets join a select group of planets that are small worlds in the conservative habitable zone that are smaller than 1.5 times Earth’s size or less massive than five times Earth’s.
Astronomers must determine whether these planets have atmospheres in order to conclusively prove that they are livable.
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