Another nearby planet found that may be just right for life

LHS 1140

"This is the most exciting exoplanet I've seen in the past decade", said lead author Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

The planet is LHS 1140b - a "super-Earth" only about 1.4 times the size of our planet, but with about 6.6 times its mass - that circles its star in what astronomers call the habitable zone, a region around a star where water is able to exist on a planet's surface.

Although it is 1.4 times the size of Earth, its mass is seven times greater, implying a dense world made of rock with an iron core.

This red dwarf, however, probably had a much more active youth, during which it would have bathed the planet in harsher ultraviolet light, potentially stripping water from any existing atmosphere and contributing to a runaway greenhouse effect. Charbonneau said recent studies show that the Trappist planets may not be rocky like Earth, while Trappist discoverer Michael Gillon said the newest planet has such intense gravity that its atmosphere may be smooshed down so telescopes can't get a good look at it. It receives roughly half as much sunlight as Earth gets from the sun but even so LHS 1140b orbits in the "Goldilocks zone" - a habitable sweet spot where conditions are not too cold and not too hot for liquid water to form on the surface of the exoplanet. It's not so far away, either.

Since the star it orbits is quite small and relatively close to us, it may be possible for current telescopes and those now under construction to determine if the planet has an atmosphere.

He calls the planet a "Super Earth", not because it's any better than our blue-green sphere, but because it "is somewhere between the size of the Earth (the largest rocky planet in the Solar System) and Neptune".

The super-Earth and its parent star are located in the constellation Cetus, the Whale, 39 light years from the Sun, thus - relatively speaking - putting it in our galactic "neighbourhood", according to Felipe Murgas, the coauthor of the study and a researcher with Spain's Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics. It orbits a small M-dwarf star every 24 days. That's because they're the most abundant stars in the galaxy and some of the easier stars to capture transit signals from.

McDonald's pit stop led police to Facebook killer
Other members of Godwin's family have said they forgive Stephens and only wanted him to receive the help he needed. Police said Stephens led them on a two-mile pursuit before he took out a pistol and shot himself in the head. " ...

The MEarth-South instruments enabled scientists to measure the planet's diameter and, using the HARPS spectrograph at the LaSilla ESO Observatory in Chile, they also were able to measure its mass, density and orbital period. This Earth-like planet is only four light-years away, making it our closet-known celestial cousin.

There are also lessons to glean from, and apply to, the TRAPPIST-1 system whose discovery was announced in February this year. We also expect - and hope to check with future data - that the star is very quiet at high energies as well.

Furthermore, scientists believe that the red dwarf, as we see it today, is emitting less high-energy radiation and spinning slower than other stars of its type, both of which are factors conducive to life.

However, scientists believe that LHS 1140b may yield better results when it comes to aliens.

Water is one of the main ingredients and the team behind the research say that chemical reactions on the planet could have given in an abundance of water.

To confirm the planet's existence the team of astronomers used three professional telescopes and the help of an amateur in Perth, Australia. "We've been delighted to hear about the discovery of LHS by our colleagues from Harvard", he said. "We plan to search for water, and ultimately molecular oxygen". But they're particularly excited to use NASA's powerful James Webb Space Telescope, which is supposed to launch late next year.

Related:

  • Spurs aiming to heap more pressure on Chelsea, says Kane

    Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic in action with Chelsea's Gary Cahill during their Premier League match at the Old Trafford, April 16, 2017.
    More Americans Think President Trump Doesn't Keep His Promises

    More Americans Think President Trump Doesn't Keep His Promises

    The results represent a significant turnaround from February, when 62% said they saw Trump as someone who keeps his promises. In February, almost two-thirds said they thought the president keeps his promises and now only 40 percent believe he does.

    Flake: North Korea leader a 'madman capable of doing damage'

    However, on April 15, the carrier was pictured passing through Indonesia toward the Indian Ocean - about 3,500 miles from Korea. Their faces were covered in black and camouflage paint, and they carried rifles with grenade launchers.
  • Asian Games Add Esports in Partnership with Chinese Giant Alibaba

    Asian Games Add Esports in Partnership with Chinese Giant Alibaba

    According to the BBC, e-sports generated a revenue of $493 million in 2016 while attracting a global audience of 320 million. There will be eight qualifiers from each region (two per game) and four Turkmenistan players, making it a 52-player field.
    North Korea displays submarine-based missiles for first time at military parade

    North Korea displays submarine-based missiles for first time at military parade

    North Korean soldiers march past with a float carrying a picture of former supreme leader Kim Il-sung. Its eventual goal is a long-range nuclear missile that can strike the continental United States .
    California State Assembly Passes Resolution Commemorating Legacy of Jackie Robinson

    California State Assembly Passes Resolution Commemorating Legacy of Jackie Robinson

    He used to come home and say, 'I got a standing ovation today.' He'd be shocked. Jackie Robinson grew up in Pasadena, and he met his wife at UCLA in 1941.
  • Trump slams Canada for tax on imported milk

    The move by Canadian producers has cost USA farms upwards of US$150 million, according to a report from the Washington Post . Walker said he also planned to talk privately with President Trump about the issue during his stop in Kenosha on Tuesday.
    New Zealand toughens requirements for skilled immigrants

    New Zealand toughens requirements for skilled immigrants

    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters attacked the changes as "tinkering" and "just a dog whistle to show they're doing something".
    Google Earth gets revival with tools for exploration

    Google Earth gets revival with tools for exploration

    The updated Google Earth , which rolls out this week, will now run as a web app in the Google Chrome browser, or on Android . This change comes just in time for the Earth Day celebrations, which is observed on the 22nd of April every year.
  • Nintendo's New 'Zelda' for Switch Is Doing Better Than the Switch Itself

    This is according to Citigroup, Inc., which says the Switch is ultimately too bulky for children to use easily (via Bloomberg ). Thus, the 2DS, which is one solid hunk of plastic that plays all 3DS games perfectly.
    'Girls' Series Finale Recap: Two Girls and a Baby

    'Girls' Series Finale Recap: Two Girls and a Baby

    Adam and Jessa are probably off somewhere snuggled in a love cocoon after almost being derailed by Adam's brief return to Hannah . Marnie summons Loreen to the house for back-up, and Loreen isn't able to break through Hannah's fog.

    Watch Melissa McCarthy As White House Easter Bunny Sean Spicer On SNL

    After naming Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, the victor , Baldwin's Trump quipped, "Jared, you're such an inspiration". The show will return for new episodes in May, including one hosted by McCarthy herself.

Comments

Latest news

Judge's big blast helps Yankees cap grand homestand
Leading the way heading into Tuesday was Avisail Garcia with 21 hits, eight runs and 10 RBI. "I never seen anything like that". Chicago made it 4-0 in the seventh after Tim Anderson singled, just the second ball the White Sox hit out of the infield.

Trump extends VA's Choice program beyond August
Trump noted that enacting the bill was "a good start", but acknowledged there is much work ahead with respect to veterans' healthcare reform.

Suspect in Facebook video killing shoots himself to death
Nearly 400 tips were called in, Williams said, emphasizing the important role the public played in helping to locate Stephens. Stephens was placed on the FBI's most wanted list and attracted a $50,000 bounty for information leading to his arrest.

N. Korea gears up to celebrate birthday of country's founder
Any US strike on North Korea could prompt retaliation against allies or US forces in South Korea or Japan. The parade also featured the "Pukguksong-2", a land-based variant of the submarine-launched missile.

Ronaldo hat-trick sends Real Madrid into semi-finals after thriller
The Brazilian, Asensio, Cristiano, with his three goals (that's 100 in the Champions League now) were the men of the match. Two minutes later, though, Ramos found his own net when his deflection sent the ball trickling across the goal line.

Red Sox edge slumping Blue Jays 8-7
Happ (left elbow) on the 10-day disabled list before the game and recalled utilityman Ty Kelly from triple-A Buffalo. Right-hander Ben Taylor was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Rodriguez's roster spot for the game Monday.

NCAA returns events to NC after state rolls back LGBT law
State said in a press release it will host six future NCAA competitions, including the 2020 and 2022 women's gymnastics regionals. The board also announced any championship previously award to North Carolina for the 2017-2018 season would remain in the state.

Yu Group PLC's (YU) house stock Rating Reiterated at Shore Capital
The stock of Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc - Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:JAZZ) earned "Neutral" rating by Mizuho on Thursday, April 6. The Connecticut-based Point72 Asset Mngmt Lp has invested 0.19% in Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc - Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:JAZZ).

21st Century Fox investigating O'Reilly harassment claims
O'Reilly seemed to be protected by the network, but that was when they were able to keep the allegations against him private. So far, Fox News has made it clear that they have no real interest in punishing O'Reilly for his criminal activity.

Trump admin. declines to brand China a currency manipulator
Treasury released its semi-annual trade report , which failed to label China a currency manipulator as Trump had previously stated.

Analysts agree Gorsuch will have great impact on court
And we should all keep in mind just how much hard work and unyielding dishonesty went into stealing this Supreme Court seat. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who played a key role holding the line on the Garland blockade.

What It Means, and Why It Matters — Georgia's Special Election
Estes ultimately won his race by just 7 points, a shockingly low lead in an area where Republicans outnumber Democrats 2-to-1. The survey included 453 respondents, 41 percent of which had already voted in early voting. "Vote for the Democratic Party".

Christians mark Easter at Jerusalem site of Jesus's resurrection
Recently I was asked what determines when we celebrate Easter Sunday? The whole relationship with Christianity is that point. Instead, it encourages disciples to live Easter's good news of new life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ every day.

'Free' college in Europe isn't really free
Stanley said Oswego State has a long-standing commitment to higher education access, college completion and cost predictability. The only thing the government asks is that the students stay in NY for four years after they graduate.

Kylie Jenner Showed Off A Shocking Hair Color At Coachella
The pair also let Kendall, recently returned from a recharge in Paris , hang out with them in the VIP lounge at the Candy Crush party shortly thereafter.

Other news