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New Earth-like exoplanet discovered just 40 light-years away

28 May 2024 19:49 (UTC+04:00)
New Earth-like exoplanet discovered just 40 light-years away

Astronomers have discovered a potentially habitable Earth-like exoplanet, Gliese 12b, situated 40 light years away, Azernews reports citing Anadolu Agency.

International teams using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) published their findings last Thursday in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, opening up exciting possibilities in the search for extraterrestrial life and understanding planetary habitability.

Scientists have confirmed "Gliese 12b," an exoplanet orbiting a "cool red dwarf star every 12.76 days within the habitable zone (or Goldilocks Zone)," with an "estimated surface temperature of 42°C (107°F)," which could support "liquid water."

At only "40 light-years away," Gliese 12b has been described as one of the "the nearest, transiting, temperate, Earth-size world located to date," with a radius just "1.0 times" that of Earth, making it "one of the smallest exoplanets discovered."

The study also revealed that Gliese 12b receives "less radiation than Venus" but might have "a similar surface temperature" due to potential atmospheric differences.

Studying this planet could provide insights into why Earth and Venus, despite similarities, have such contrasting environments, according to the article.

While the size and location suggest potential habitability, the presence or composition of Gliese 12b's atmosphere remains unknown, astronomers are reportedly planning to use advanced telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope to study the planet's atmosphere, which could reveal its "composition and suitability for life."

The discovery of Gliese 12b marks a significant step forward in the search for habitable exoplanets and our understanding of planetary system formation.

It fuels our imagination and inspires the development of technologies that might one day allow us to visit our cosmic neighbors.

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