Astronomers have found another "perfect" exoplanet

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2017-04-20 19:00:07

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Nowadays, astronomers are beginning to find potentially habitable exoplanets, but the latest find could be the most intriguing. The planet is called LHS 1140b, it is a bit more Land and is located approximately 40 light years from us.

"This is the most promising exoplanet that I have seen over the last 10 years" — says lead researcher Jason Dittman of the Harvard-Smithsonian center for astrophysics.

"the planet is a perfect candidate for the search for extraterrestrial life outside the Solar system."

the Artistic representation of the planet LHS 1140b and red dwarf

LHS 1140b is the so-called super-earths – planet with a mass larger than the earth (but not more than 10 times), but has size of only 1.4 times bigger than Earth. According to the researchers, this may indicate high density of its composition and, probably, the presence of a dense iron core.

But does the planet LHS 1140b interesting not even its size and density, it is interesting primarily because the so-called habitable region of its star – a dim red dwarf star LHS 1140, located in the constellation Cetus. The planet is about 10 times closer to its star than Earth is to the Sun, but as the star LHS 1140 significantly colder than our sun, that may mean that its radiation has not yet nuked everything that can be on this planet, because the amount of heat which it receives about half of what our planet receives from the Sun.

"Conditions, which provides a red dwarf, we can say, very favorable for the planet. LHS 1140 rotates slower than the Sun and emits less highly charged particles compared with other similar low-mass stars," — says one of the researchers, astronomer, Nicolas Astudillo-DEFRA from the Geneva Observatory.

From this we can conclude that the planet provided a sufficient amount of heat (not too much and not too little) to support water in liquid form (if, of course, there is on the planet), which, in turn, is an important component of the life as we know it.

Found a LHS 1140b planet using the HARPS instrument at the Observatory of La Silla, located in Chile and owned by the European southern Observatory. The estimated age of the exoplanet is about 5 billion years, and the alleged conditions were not always welcoming. Most likely, when red dwarf was younger, his temper was much hotter, which could lead to the disappearance of water from the atmosphere LHS 1140b, if of course she ever had.

Nevertheless, astronomers hope that the planet managed to maintain or at least restore their atmosphere, due to rising magmatic vapors, which could be attributed to her in her distant past.

To test their hypothesis, the scientists plan to continue studying LHS 1140b using the space telescope "Hubble", as well as the European extremely large telescope (Extremely Large Telescope), whose construction should be completed in 2024 (to wait for a long time, but it's worth it).

It is Worth noting that it is not only remote from the world, caused excitement among scientists for the last time. This month, for example, astronomers announced the determination of the atmosphere around another super-earths – . It is approximately on the same distance to the Ground (about 39 light years). However to draw any hasty conclusions about its potential habitability scientists do not want until you know more information on them.

"Let's not forget the story around the system and another templatebuy the planet — . Both in fact are hardly perfect as a sanctuary for life, which they seemed at first glance".

And yet the optimism of the planet LHS 1140b among scientists is also present.

"the System LHS 1140 may be a more important goal than b and Proxima system TRAPPIST–1", — agree in opinion Delfosse Javier and Javier Bonfils of the French National center for scientific research.

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