Scientists have found a recent planetary system of two distant worlds – which could function a house to alien life.
The 2 planets are in orbit around a small, cool star named LP 890-9. It’s the second-coolest star to be found hosting planets, after the similarly intriguing TRAPPIST-1.
Considered one of the system’s planets is referred to as LP 890-9b, and is just 30 per cent larger than Earth. It’s so near that cool star that a 12 months takes just 2.7 days.
And the system has one other, entirely unknown planet, which has been named LP 890-9c. The planet is similarly sized to the primary – it’s 40 per cent larger than Earth – but an extended 12 months, taking 8.5 days to make its way across the star.
The brand new research was undertaken using ground-based telescopes named Speculoos – Seek for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars. Very cold stars like LP 890-9b require this sort of follow-up observations because space telescopes can find it hard to identify them.
Scientists had begun the brand new observations with the hope of confirming the existence of the primary planet, which was first spotted as a possible world by Nasa’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which looks for planets outside of our solar system. However the observations also found that second planet.
That latter planet is inside the star’s “habitable zone”, meaning that it’s neither too hot or cold for alien life.
“The habitable zone is an idea under which a planet with similar geological and atmospheric conditions as Earth, would have a surface temperature allowing water to stay liquid for billions of years” said Amaury Triaud, a professor of Exoplanetology at University Birmingham and the leader of the Speculoos working group that scheduled the observations resulting in the invention of the second planet.
“This provides us a license to watch more and discover whether the planet has an environment, and in that case, to review its content and assess its habitability.”