They discover a potentially habitable planet “only” 40 light years from Earth – Telemundo Las Vegas

They discover a potentially habitable planet “only” 40 light years from Earth – Telemundo Las Vegas
They discover a potentially habitable planet “only” 40 light years from Earth – Telemundo Las Vegas

Scientists have found a potentially habitable exoplanet that is approximately similar in size to Earth in a system located 40 light years away, according to a new study.

The planet is about the size of Venus, making it slightly smaller than Earth, and may be temperate enough to support life, the researchers said.

Dubbed Gliese 12 b, the planet takes 12.8 days to orbit a star that is 27% the size of the sun. It is not yet known if the exoplanet has an atmosphere.

But the scientists behind the study, published Thursday in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, estimate that Gliese 12 b has a surface temperature of about 107 degrees Fahrenheit.

While hot, that temperature is lower than most of the thousands of exoplanets discovered to date.

“Gliese 12 b could be at the right temperature for liquid water to accumulate on its surface, and that’s important because we tend to think of liquid water as an essential ingredient for life as we know it,” said Shishir Dholakia, one of the study’s authors and a PhD student at the Center for Astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland said in a statement.

Researchers are interested in taking a closer look at the exoplanet, including with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which launched into space in 2021 and is equipped with a sophisticated suite of instruments capable of studying exoplanet atmospheres.

This is NASA’s new immersive simulator.

Scientists want to determine if the planet has an atmosphere similar to that of Earth, or if its atmosphere is as extreme and hostile as that of Venus. Alternatively, Gliese 12 b could have no atmosphere at all, or have one that is unfamiliar and not seen in our own solar system, they said.

The findings could help researchers better understand the factors that make exoplanets potentially habitable. The observations may also shed light on how our own solar system evolved.

“Because Gliese 12 b has a temperature between Earth and Venus, its atmosphere could teach us a lot about the habitability pathways planets take as they develop,” said study co-author Larissa Palethorpe, a doctoral student at the University of Edinburgh and University College London. she said in a statement.

Gliese 12 b was discovered using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey satellite, which is designed to observe a huge swath of the sky for about a month at a time.

The space telescope, launched into space in 2018, looks for periodic changes in the brightness of tens of thousands of stars.

If a star dims at regular intervals, it may be a sign that a planet is orbiting the star, passing in front of it and temporarily dimming its light.

This article was originally published on NBC News. Click here.

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