Astronomers Just Discovered an Alien Planet That’s The Best Candidate for Life As We Know It

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Astronomers have just discovered an Earth like planet which is in the habitable zone of its parent star and according to astronomer this recently discovered Earth like planet is even more promising than Proxima b or TRAPPIST-1. This exoplanet is dubbed as SUPER-EARTH LHS 1140B. It is orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth. Astronomers used ESO’s HARPS instrument and a range of telescopes around the worild to look for Earth like Planet and found LHS 1140B.

According to astronomers it has likely reserved most of its atmosphere, and is a little bigger and much more massive than the Earth. Meaning, super-Earth LHS 1140b is among the most thrilling identified subjects for atmospheric studies.

The parent star is 10 times closer to LHS 1140B than Earth, that’s no worry because it is red dwarf star. Red dwarfs are much smaller and cooler than the Sun. The data obtained from telescopes suggest that super-Earth exist in the middle of the habitable zone and gets around half as much sunlight from its star as the Earth does.

The lead author of the study said: “This is the most exciting exoplanet I’ve seen in the past decade. We could hardly hope for a better target to perform one of the biggest quests in science — searching for evidence of life beyond Earth.”

According to our current theories, to support life a planet must hold an atmosphere and have liquid surface water. When red dwarf stars are in their initial stages of life, they release radiation that can harm the atmospheres of planets orbiting them. This planet’s large size shows that a magma ocean may have existed on its surface for eons, nourishing steam into the atmosphere and refilling the planet with water until well inside the time the star had cooled to its present, stable glow.

The astronomers suggest that the planet is at least five billion years old, and deduce that it has a diameter of nearly 18,000 kilometers  (11,185 mi)— 1.4 times larger than that of the Earth. Its greater mass and density suggests that it is possibly made of rock with a thick iron core.

Two of the European members of the team, Xavier Delfosse and Xavier Bonfils, stated in the release: “The LHS 1140 system might prove to be an even more important target for the future characterization of planets in the habitable zone than Proxima b or TRAPPIST-1. This has been a remarkable year for exoplanet discoveries!”

More observations with the Hubble Space Telescope will soon allow astronomers to evaluate how much high-energy radiation the exoplanet obtains, and more into the future — with the assistance of new telescopes like ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope and the James Webb Telescope — more comprehensive observations of the atmospheres of exoplanets, including LHS 1140B,  will be possible.
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