Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.


Ray Kurzweil


3 newly discovered exoplanets prime candidates in search for life elsewhere

Posted in Science on 3rd May, 2016 03:18 PM by AlexMuller

Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have discovered three planets orbiting a dwarf sun 40 light-years from Earth. Researchers say all three worlds are potentially habitable given their sizes and temperatures, and may be the best candidates yet in the search for life.

Using the TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) instrument at ESO's La Silla station located near the ALMA complex in the Atacama Desert, Peru, astronomers spotted spotted the three worlds rotating around an ultracool red dwarf star dubbed 2MASS J23062928-0502285, but now also known as TRAPPIST-1.
Subsequent observations using more powerful telescopes, including ESO's 8-meter (26-ft) Very Large Telescope HAWK-I near-infrared instrument located nearby, have confirmed that the planets spinning around TRAPPIST-1 appear to be close in size to Earth. Two of the planets have well-defined orbital periods of around 1.5 days, and 2.4 days, whilst the third planet seems to be somewhat less stable, with an orbital period that varies widely between 4.5 to 73 days.
"This really is a paradigm shift with regards to the planet population and the path towards finding life in the Universe," said Emmanuël Jehin, from the Institut d'Astrophysique et Géophysique at the University of Liège in Belgium and Research Associate on the TRAPPIST team. "So far, the existence of such 'red worlds' orbiting ultra-cool dwarf stars was purely theoretical, but now we have not just one lonely planet around such a faint red star but a complete system of three planets!"
Though these worlds have sizes and temperatures similar to those of Venus and Earth, two of them are in very close orbit to their parent star, which means that they are closer to their sun than habitable zone requirements normally allow. However, because the star is so much fainter than the Sun, the researchers believe it is still possible the two inner planets may have habitable areas on their surfaces. The furthest of the two inner planets receives approximately twice the radiation received by the Earth and the inner one four times as much.
The third and outermost planet has an orbit that still appears erratic, but the team believes that at its farthest point it is probably less irradiated than the Earth, but could still receive enough radiation to put it in the habitable zone.
"Why are we trying to detect Earth-like planets around the smallest and coolest stars in the solar neighbourhood? " asks Gillon. "The reason is simple: systems around these tiny stars are the only places where we can detect life on an Earth-sized exoplanet with our current technology. So if we want to find life elsewhere in the Universe, this is where we should start to look."

Tags: astronomyexoplanetplanetlifespaceresearch

Read original article » Back to category



Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2017-09-21 08:16:42
    Google signs $1.1bn HTC smartphone more
    Posted in Business on 2017-09-21 08:11:40
    US solar plant costs fall another 30 per cent in just more
    Posted in Science on 2017-09-21 08:04:25
    SpaceX will call global internet satellite network more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-20 19:05:15
    Google boosts Cloud Natural Language API with more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-20 18:55:34
    Salesforce to launch $50 million artificial more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me