Scientists discover two potentially habitable 'Earth-like' planets, close to our solar system

Updated On : 14 Aug , 2017 , 08:41 AM
Scientists discover two potentially habitable 'Earth-like' planets, close to our solar system
Scientists discover two potentially habitable 'Earth-like' planets, close to our solar system
New Delhi:

Looking for a change! Completely bored with this tiring Earthly life! Then scientists have something exciting in their store for you. A latest study led by a group of researchers from the UK’s University of Hertfordshire and the University of California Santa Cruz, has found that, two Earth-size planets are orbiting a sun-like star, known as tau Ceti.

Having masses of around 1.7 Earth mass, both the planets have been described as 'super-Earths'. They are larger than Earth but among the smallest planets ever detected around the nearest sun-like stars.

Moreover, the group of researchers is all set to publish their latest findings in 'The Astrophysical Journal' soon. 

Talking about the same, Dr Fabo Feng, the lead researcher of the study told CNN, "[The habitable zone] is the 'Goldilocks' region around a star where the planet is not too hot or too cold and thus is able to sustain liquid water on its surface."

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"The planets are likely made of rocks rather than ice which would increase the chances of them supporting life," Fabo added.

"We measured the variation of the motions of the star through spectroscopic observations," Feng stated further.

According to NASA's website, spectroscopic is a process which helps measuring the light which is emitted, absorbed or scattered by materials.

"I have detected the smallest movement of a star caused by planets," Feng said along with his colleagues from UK and US.

A similar study was also conducted back in 2013 which lay the groundwork for the breakthrough.

Being asked about the development, Dr Mike Tuomi, leader of the previous study has said, "We realized that we could see how the star’s activity differed at different wavelengths and used that information to separate this activity from signals of planets."

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"We're slowly learning to tell the difference between wobbles caused by planets and those caused by stellar active surface, this enabled us to verify the existence of the two outer, potentially habitable, planets in the system," Mike added further.

However, people who are going crazy to make a space trip any time soon, need to wait a little more as the atmosphere of the planets is yet to be tested.

First Published : Monday, August 14, 2017 08:01 AM
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