Astronomers Discover Two Super-Earths Orbiting a Star 11 Light-Years Away

The super-Earths lie close to the star’s habitable zone where water can exist in liquid form.

Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment
Astronomers Discover Two Super-Earths Orbiting a Star 11 Light-Years Away

The new exoplanets were discovered around star Gilese 887 (representational image)

Highlights
  • These two super-Earths have very short orbits
  • The exoplanets are called Gilese 887b and Gilese 87c
  • These two planets could have thicker atmospheres than Earth

Astronomers have discovered two super-Earths around a star Gilese 887 that is approximately 11 light-years away from our planet. The two exoplanets – a term used for planets outside our solar system – are called Gilese 887b and Gilese 887c, and the scientists claim that they could ‘potentially host life'. For those unaware, super-Earths are planets that have mass higher than Earth but substantially lower than Neptune and Uranus. Astronomers, led by Sandra Jeffers from University of Gottingen in Germany, have published a new study on these exoplanets in the Science journal.

This journal details the new discovery of these two super-Earths orbiting the brightest red-dwarf star GJ 887. This discovery is a huge leap in the quest to figure out if we are alone in the universe. Possibly the most exciting thing about these two new super-Earths is they lie close to the red dwarf's habitable zone, where water can exist in liquid form, and could be rocky worlds just like Earth and Mars. The scientists note that these new planets could have thicker atmospheres than the Earth, and potentially host life.

Based on their findings, the astronomers claim that the two exoplanets have short orbits of just 9.3 and 21.8 days. This indicates that the two super-Earths are moving rapidly, much faster, even than Mercury. Scientists also estimate the temperature of Gliese 887c to be around 70 degree Celsius.

“These planets will provide the best possibilities for more detailed studies, including the search for life outside our Solar System,” Jeffers said.

While Gilese 887 star is 11 light-years away, it is still one of the closest to our solar system. It is also claimed to be much dimmer than the Sun, and about half its size. The scientists claim that the habitable zone is much closer to Gilese 887 than Earth's distance from the Sun. Furthermore, it has few starspots, making it likely for the newly discovered planets to retain the atmosphere.


WWDC 2020 had a lot of exciting announcements from Apple, but which are the best iOS 14 features for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Tasneem Akolawala Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
Fitbit Says Young Adults in US Slower to Step Back to Normal
Samsung Galaxy S20 Lite Launch Rumoured for October, May Be Called 'Fan Edition'

Related Stories

 
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2020. All rights reserved.
Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com