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Quote of the day

'By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it'

 

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Super Earth exoplanet spotted 42 light years away

RATE THIS! +6
Posted in Science on 8th Nov, 2012 08:13 PM by AlexMuller

Astronomers have spotted another candidate for a potentially habitable planet - and it is not too far away. The star HD 40307 was known to host three planets, all of them too near to support liquid water.

 

But research to appear in Astronomy and Astrophysics has found three more - among them a "super-Earth" seven times our planet's mass, in the habitable zone where liquid water can exist. Many more observations will be needed to confirm any other similarities.

 

But the find joins an ever-larger catalogue of more than 800 known exoplanets, and it seems only a matter of time before astronomers spot an "Earth 2.0" - a rocky planet with an atmosphere circling a Sun-like star in the habitable zone.

 

HD 40307, which lies 42 light-years away, is not particularly Sun-like - it is a smaller, cooler version of our star emitting orange light.

 

But it is subtle variations in this light that permitted researchers working with the Rocky Planets Around Cool Stars (Ropacs) network to find three more planets around it.



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