Not redundant, but spare. Scientists find two Earth-like planets just 16 light-years away
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These two planets are relatively close to us in space terms.
Spanish scientists have presented their new study, which says the discovery of two new exoplanets that orbit the star GJ 1002 at a distance of 16 light-years from Earth. By cosmic standards, this is a very close distance, that is, these planets are in fact not so far away. These planets are very similar to the Earth and they may have conditions suitable for the existence of life, writes ScienceAlert.
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Scientists from the Canary Institute of Astrophysics, Spain, have discovered two new exoplanets, GJ 1002b and GJ 1002c. They orbit a red dwarf (a type of star that is not as bright as the Sun) called GJ 1002, 16 light years away.
According to scientists, this star is quite cold and dim, which means its habitable zone is much smaller than that of the Sun. The habitable zone is a region of space around a star, in which there are planets on which water can potentially exist, and hence life. Such planets are neither too hot nor too cold for water and life to exist.
“At the moment, we know that these two planets are similar in size and mass to the Earth, but it is still too early to say whether there is water there, and even more so life. For this, we need to conduct additional research,” says Vera Maria Passenger of the Canaries Institute of Astrophysics.
In order to detect the planets GJ 1002b and GJ 1002c, scientists studied more than 100 images of this region of space and analyzed the light of the star, and these data indicated the presence of two Earth-like worlds .
According to scientists, the planet GJ 1002b is closer to its star, and makes a complete revolution around it in 10 days, that is, a year here lasts only a third of an Earth month. The second planet, GJ 1002c, is further away and the year here is only 20 days long.
The fact that these planets are close to their star will help astronomers get a lot more information about them. For example, scientists have now focused their efforts on studying their atmospheres, either based on the light they reflect or on the basis of the heat emitted by the planets. In particular, scientists want to find out not only whether water exists on the surface of these planets, but also whether oxygen is present in their atmospheres.
To date, astronomers have already confirmed the existence of more than 5 thousand planets outside the solar system and new technologies allow not only to find new planets, but also to study their internal composition and the composition of their atmospheres. Also, scientists can now detect not only huge gas giants, but also small exoplanets similar in size to the Earth, which, moreover, can be very far from us.
“Our discovery proves once again that similar to “Earth planets in our galaxy are not uncommon. If you take these two exoplanets, now we know about the existence of already seven such worlds that are relatively close to Earth,” says Passenger.
Focus< /em> already wrote that astronomers have found that two already known exoplanets can be real water worlds, that is, they are almost entirely composed of water. Most importantly, they are not much larger than the Earth in size and belong to the type of planets that I call super-Earth.