Another nearby planet found that may be just right for life

Planet Hunters Find Another 'Earthy' Planet in Our Galactic Neighborhood

Scientists searching for evidence of life beyond Earth say a newly discovered planet could be the most promising candidate they have found so far.

In fact, one of our best chances of studying planets and perhaps detecting a familiar atmosphere lies with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

The planet, named LHS 1140b, circles a small, faint red dwarf star at a distance conducive to liquid water, which increases the likelihood of life. That's another box you can check off on the "likely to support life" chart.

LHS 1140b is what's called a super-Earth - a planet with more mass than Earth, but less than 10 times as much. And it may even have an atmosphere.

Exoplanet discoveries in the past decade have made it clear there are plenty of other solar systems, but in the a year ago we've increasingly spotted new worlds that indicate there may be plenty of other Earths out there too. The next largest planets in our solar system are gaseous, like Uranus and Neptune.

Super-Earths exist in between.

"This is the most exciting exoplanet I've seen in the past decade".

Still, Dittmann thinks that the TRAPPIST-1 system, also located roughly 40 light years away, stands out as a particularly intriguing. It all started with the observation of a dip in the light of the star.

Currently, the MEarth project is studying small stars that are less than a third the size of the Sun.

However, its mass is around seven times bigger than Earth's, which means it is dense. That is proportional to the planet's mass. The new planet, designated LHS 1140b, has a diameter of around 11,000 miles.

In the future, they want to use HARPS to continue observing the star and see if there are more planets around it. It's possible this could be a concern with LHS 1140b, too.

Right now, LHS 1140b looks like an attractive target for further observation. This process could have replenished the planet with water, making it suitable for life as we know it. That's what happened to Venus.

"It's just incredible what these amateurs are capable of", said Dittmann. That's where lava comes in.

Although the planet is potentially habitable now, it might have faced a hellish past.

What is the range of the habitable zone? Too close, and the object will burn.

The star LHS 1140 is also a red dwarf, but it's old enough to have settled down.

LHS 1140 b or TRAPPIST-1? If a star emits this radiation often enough, the atmosphere has no time to fix itself. This affects the planet's ability to maintain an atmosphere, water and stable compounds. They then study the light that filters though the atmosphere in order to determine what that atmosphere is made of - a technique known as transmission spectroscopy.

"We originally thought it was just something amusing going on in the atmosphere", Harvard astronomer Jason Dittmann, the study's lead author, told Gizmodo.

"I hope that we can go after both of these systems' atmospheres so that we can compare them to each other", Dittman said.

Julien de Wit, one of the researchers that discovered the TRAPPIST-1 planets, agrees. We also expect-and hope to check with future data-that the star is very quiet at high energies as well. Other signs it could be habitable would be nitrogen molecules. In an article published on Wednesday in Nature magazine, the scientists say that the distant planet, dubbed LHS 1140b, is orbiting an M class red dwarf star a little smaller and dimmer than the Sun but the most common type of star in our galaxy.

In the next few years, telescopes should be able to use the planet's path to examine its atmosphere, Charbonneau said.

Two giant telescopes under construction in Chile might be powerful enough, if aimed at 1140b, to recognize any oxygen molecules of the sort that animals need to breathe, assuming 1140b is swathed in oxygen.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Starbucks introduces color-shifting "Unicorn Frappuccino" for a limited time
Apr 20, 2017 - 09:12
The cold drink is made with pink powder blended into Frappuccino Crème, flavored with mango syrup and a layer of blue drizzle. Known for its quirky blended drinks, the coffee shop takes the trend of shimmering unicorn-themed drinks to a new level.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Iraq opens new Tigris bridge escape route for people fleeing Mosul
Apr 19, 2017 - 01:46
According to the top US commander in Iraq, the battle for Western Mosul is the most brutal urban combat since World War II. Iraq's prime minister last month called for more support from the global community to combat ISIS and Al Qaeda.

North Korean missile test fails, US and South Korea say
Apr 18, 2017 - 02:25
The administration's immediate emphasis, the officials said, will be on increasing pressure on Pyongyang with the help of Beijing. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.

'KUWTK': Kim Struggles With Kanye's Hospitalization, Says She's 'Emotionally Drained and Exhausted'
Apr 18, 2017 - 02:17
In the episode we see her on the phone with the friend crying and not really getting a lot of information on Kanye's state. Pictured: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian at the 2016 MTV Awards in New York City on August 28, 2016.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Didier Drogba joins United States side Phoenix Rising as player and co-owner
Apr 18, 2017 - 02:15
The United Soccer League (USL) - the largest Division II professional league in the world and longest standing member of the U.S. Drogba , 39, is a former victor of both the English Premiership and the UEFA Champions League .

BP Tries to Secure Leaking Oil and Natural Gas Well in Alaska
Apr 18, 2017 - 02:14
The leak was initially discovered Friday morning when BP employees saw crude oil spraying out of the top of it. BP was fined $255 million by the state of Alaska for negligence in their maintenance of Prudhoe Bay pipelines.

Boilermaker course record holder is women's champ in Boston Marathon
Apr 18, 2017 - 02:11
Kenya's Geoffrey Kirui was the men's victor , pulling away from Rupp with about two miles to go to win in 2:09:37. Update 10:40 a.m.: The Boston Athletic Association announces the victor of the men's push-rim: Marcel Hug.

Are Kylie Jenner & Travis Scott Dating?
Apr 18, 2017 - 02:10
It was learned that Kylie lets her world revolve around Tyga that she gets distracted while working. Citing a "Jenner source ", People added that Jenner and Scott previously had "a thing" of some sort.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 'Infowars' host Jones disputes persona in custody dispute
Apr 18, 2017 - 02:10
Jones typically broadcasts from the home where he children have lives since the couple divorced in 2015 . But with the rise of Donald Trump, Jones has gained increased prominence and legitimacy.

More Than 1000 Palestinians In Israeli Prisons Go On Hunger Strike
Apr 18, 2017 - 02:04
One of the immediate circumstances of this violation is a perpetual difficulty with family visits to the prison. Some 500 are held under administrative detention, which allows for imprisonment without charges or trial.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94
Apr 17, 2017 - 05:03
Daulat Waziri, a ministry spokesman, said 36 IS fighters were killed, and that the death toll could likely rise. The statement said it is the responsibility of Afghans, not the U.S. , to remove IS from the country.

San Bernardino school looks to recover after killings
Apr 16, 2017 - 02:28
Burguan said employees at the school were not aware of any marital issues, saying "she effectively kept her private life private". Burguan said they separated about a month ago after being married for just a few months.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Police ID 4 found slain in park in suspected gang killing
Apr 16, 2017 - 02:16
The bodies of four men were discovered at a park in Long Island Wednesday night in what police said was an apparent homicide. All four suffered "significant trauma", and were killed in the past "few days" with a sharp or edged instrument, police said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top New England police arrest suspect in connection to murder of Vanessa Marcotte
Apr 16, 2017 - 02:14
The 31-year-old is reportedly at the Massachusetts State Police barracks in Millbury, NBC Boston reported, on $1 million bail. Early said he anticipates a murder charge against Colon-Ortiz, who is expected to be arraigned Tuesday.

Russian Federation vetoes United Nations condemnation of Syria attack
Apr 15, 2017 - 02:15
While he said the two sides had agreed to work together on an worldwide investigation into the attack, Tillerson spokesman R.C. Moscow has stood by Assad, saying the poison gas belonged to rebels, an explanation Washington dismisses as beyond credible.