Say What! Astronomers found two exoplanets similar to Earth near Teegarden star

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 19 June 2019, 08:05 PM
Two new planets similar to Earth discovered (Representative image)
Two new planets similar to Earth discovered (Representative image)

We often here that like Earth, there are many planets in the Galaxy which support life. We have also heard that aliens do exist. Should we believe this? Well, a recent discovery is making the astronomers think that they founded two planets that are like Earth. Yes, you read it right. According to them, the two planets are in our Galaxy and interestingly they appear similar to Earth. On the basis of their findings, the astronomers are putting the planets on the list of worlds with potentially habitable environments. The two-newly found exoplanets are named as Teegarden B and Teegarden C.

According to the study published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, the two planets are located only 12.5 light years away orbiting the Teegarden star - a red dwarf in the direction of the constellation of Aries. “Its surface temperature is 2,700 degrees Celsius and its mass is only one-tenth that of the Sun,” the study said. Even though it is so near, its faintness impeded its discovery until 2003.

“The two exoplanets resemble the inner planets from our Solar System and they are more massive than Earth and the position is in the habitable zone which means that water exists in liquid form,” said Mathias Zechmeister, a researcher at the University of Gottingen in Germany.

“It is possible that the two planets are part of a larger system,” said Stefan Dreizler, a researcher at the University of Gottingen.

Importantly, the two planets were discovered using the CARMENES next-generation telescope, which works with a particular method and situation. The telescope is in Spain’s Calar Alto Observatory and after three years of close observation and more than 200 measurements, the astronomers found signs that indicate the existence of the two new planets.

“These studies demonstrate that the signals of the two planets cannot be due to the activity of the star, even though we could not detect the transits of the two new planets,” said Victor Sanchez Bejar, from the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) in the Canary Islands.

"For the transit method to be viable, the planets must pass across the face of the stellar disc and block some of the light from the star during a short time, which means that it must lie on a line joining the Sun and the Earth. This alignment occurs for only a small fraction of planetary systems," researchers said.

The type of star to which the Teegarden star belongs consists of the smallest for which researchers can measure the masses of their planets with current technology.

First Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2019 08:04 PM
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