They will seek to answer if it is habitable

They will seek to answer if it is habitable
They will seek to answer if it is habitable

An investigation by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) discovered a temperate planet, in transit and of a dimension similar to Earth, in an area potentially habitable of his star. It is located in the constellation Pisces and about 40 light years away, according to the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC).

According to the results presented in the magazine The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the planetary sphere was named Gliese 12 b and its discovery was feasible thanks to the studies of the Tess satellite, from the POTand facilities such as the Carmenes spectrograph, at the Calar Alto Observatory (Almería), and MuSCAT2, of the Carlos Sánchez telescope, at the Teide Observatory (Tenerife).

Gliese 12 b is located within the habitable zone of its star, a cold red dwarf, which makes it “a promising candidate” to delve deeper into its atmosphere with the James Webb Space Telescope, the IAC indicates in a report. In addition, it is the closest warm exoplanet, similar in size to Earth, to date detected with the transit method.

Gliese 12 b

What is the Earth-like planet discovered by NASA like and how far away is it?

The exoplanet orbits every 12.8 days its host star, Gliese 12, an icy red dwarf located nearly 40 light-years away in the constellation Pisceswhose surface is 27% that of the Sun and with a surface climate 60% that of the sun. At the same time, the distance separating Gliese 12 from the exoplanet is “only” the 7% of the distance between the Earth and the Sunso it receives 1.6 times more energy vibration from its star than the Earth’s sphere.

“Although we do not yet know if Gliese 12 b has an atmosphere, we have been thinking of it as an exo-Venus, with a size and energy received from its star similar to those of our planetary neighbor in the solar system,” explains Masayuji Kuzuhara, professor project deputy at the Tokyo Astrobiology Center, who co-leads the research team responsible for the results.

Gliese 12 b represents “one of the best targets to study whether globe-sized planets orbiting cool stars can retain their atmospheres, a crucial step to advance our understanding of habitability in celestial bodies across our galaxy,” he says. Shishir Dholakia, astrophysicist at the University of Southern Queensland (Australia).

What are the atmospheric studies that NASA will do to see if it can support life?

It is a “unique candidate for new atmospheric studies that could help unravel some aspects of the evolution of our own solar system,” explains Enric Pallé, an IAC researcher who also participated in the discovery.

The atmosphere of Gliese 12 b could teach about how the atmospheric evolution and habitability conditions of terrestrial planets change as they evolve, adds Pallé. In this sense, an essential factor to retain an atmosphere is the stormy character of its star, the statement indicates, in which they also indicate that red dwarfs tend to be magnetically active, which gives rise to continuous and powerful eruptions of X-rays and ultraviolet radiation.

However, analyzes by both teams conclude that Gliese 12 b shows no signs of extreme behavior, making this system an ideal candidate for studying its surface with the James Webb Space Telescope.

The researchers point out that, thanks to current technology, the transit method can be used to define the chemical composition of exoplanetary atmospheres and, by studying the unique pattern of chemical signatures that are generated when starlight passes through the star’s gaseous layer, the molecules present can be discerned and their composition better analyzed.

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