A NEW EARTH: Earth-like planet capable of supporting ALIEN life discovered | Science | News

Products You May Like

Some 111 lightyears from Earth in the constellation Leo sits the exoplanet K2-18b.

The planet was originally discovered in 2015 but researchers are now beginning to believe that the world is much like our own but more than two times the size, putting in the category of Super-Earths.

Original observations suggest that the planet orbits in its host star’s habitable zone, a region where it is neither too hot nor too cold where conditions are right to support life.

Observations conducted at the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) – an 11.8-foot telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla Observatory in Chile – suggest that the planet, which is 2.2 times bigger than ours – is either a rocky world with a thin atmosphere, like Earth, or a water world covered with a shell of ice.

Study lead author Ryan Cloutier, a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto and the University of Montreal’s Institute for Research on Exoplanets, said: “With the current data, we can’t distinguish between those two possibilities.

“But with the James Webb Space Telescope, we can probe the atmosphere and see whether it has an extensive atmosphere or it’s a planet covered in water.”

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is so powerful it will make the Hubble Telescope look like a pair of binoculars, fans say.

The infrared machine is so powerful it will reach back to the furthest realms and the earliest moments of the universe. And the JWST has the capability of scanning thousands of planets for alien life – even though those planets are thousands of light years away. 

The JWST had been scheduled to be operational next year, but delays in the integration of key instruments, such as the 6.5 metre mirror which will help it see into deep space, has seen the launch put back until sometime between March and June 2019.

Study co-author René Doyon said: “K2-18b is now one of the best targets for atmospheric study; it’s going to the near top of the list.”

Source link

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Extreme Horizons in Space Could Lure Quantum States Into Reality : ScienceAlert
Planting This Could Feed Millions And Lock Away Tons of Carbon : ScienceAlert
Scientists Finally Detect Neutrinos in Particle Collider : ScienceAlert
Physicists Have Manipulated ‘Quantum Light’ For The First Time, in a Huge Breakthrough : ScienceAlert

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *