Published: Sun, August 04, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Earth-like habitable planet discovered outside solar system

Earth-like habitable planet discovered outside solar system

The super-Earth planet - named GJ 357 d - was found in mid-2019 inferable from NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a mission meant to look over the sky for exoplanets, as per the examination distributed in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

"Exoplanets are planets that are orbiting outside of our solar system", explained Junellie Gonzalez-Quiles, a research assistant with NASA. It's located 31 light years away from us, residing in the constellation Hydra.

This diagram shows the layout of the GJ 357 system.

"She gets about the same amount of stellar energy from its star as Mars is from the Sun", said the authors of a new study.

In what could be one of the biggest developments in the search for habitable planets, NASA has discovered a "Super-Earth" estimated to be about six times the size of our planet and located a mere 31 light-years away.

If this happens, GJ 357 d would become the closest transiting, potentially habitable planet in the solar neighborhood.

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The planet named GJ 357 d, is six times larger than Earth. "If the planet has a dense atmosphere, which will take future studies to determine, it could trap enough heat to warm the planet and allow liquid water on its surface", said Diana Kossakowski, a researcher who works at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and the co-author of the study, Science Daily reported.

A study about NASA's discoveries was published this week in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. Around an M-type dwarf known as GJ 357, researchers have spotted a new system of planets. The researchers described this exoplanet as the third-nearest transiting exoplanet to date and one of the best rocky planets they had for measuring the composition of any atmosphere it may possess.

The exoplanet is more massive than our own blue planet, and Kaltenegger said the discovery will provide insight into Earth's heavyweight planetary cousins.

The scientists came across GJ 357 d and one other planet orbiting the star when they were trying to confirm the existence of the satellite's first-discovered exoplanet*, called GJ 357 b, which can not host life due to its 490 degrees surface temperature. However, it's much closer to its star than the Earth is to the sun and orbits once every 55.7 days.

To confirm the presence of GJ 357 b and discover its neighbors, Luque and his colleagues turned to existing ground-based measurements of the star's radial velocity, or the speed of its motion along our line of sight.

The other two planets in the system, GJ 357 b and GJ 357 c, both seem to have habitable conditions, but their temperatures are not well fitted to sustain life.

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