New sverhzemlya found in the habitable zone of a nearby star


04/02/2012

An international team of scientists has discovered a potentially habitable sverhzemlyu that revolves around a nearby star. Its orbital period is 28 days and the minimum possible weight is 4.5 times greater than Earth’s. The orbit of the planet is in the "habitable zone" where the temperature range allows the water to be in liquid state on the surface of the planet. Researchers have found evidence for the existence of at least two or three additional planets orbiting the star, which is located at a distance of 22 light years from Earth.

The researchers used publicly available information from the European Southern Observatory, which was analyzed by them through a new method of data analysis. Their method of detecting planets is to measure small variations of the star caused by the gravitational pull of planets.

The star, called GJ 667C, is an M-class dwarf star Two other stars of this triple star system are orange dwarf class K, the level of heavy elements in which only 25% is from our Sun.

"Because of the low metal content of the star, it was believed that the probability of finding planets around it is quite low. And yet, they revolve around this nearby star, which refers to the most common type of stars in our galaxy," - said the professor of astronomy and astrophysics Steven Vogt. "The discovery of this planet, which suggests that our galaxy is full of potentially habitable terrestrial planets"

The amount of received light of this planet, is 90 percent of what Earth receives. However, given the fact that most of the light that strikes it is infrared, the percentage of absorbed energy must be higher. Taking into account these two factors, the planet receives as much energy from its star as Earth is from the Sun.

"This planet is the best available candidates for the maintenance of liquid water, and perhaps life as we know it" - said the member of the team, Anglada-escudos.

The team found that this system can also contain a gas giant, and additional sverhzemlyu with circulation period of 75 days. Require further research to confirm these assumptions.

"With the advent of a new generation of scientific instruments, researchers can explore a lot of M-dwarfs for the presence of such planets and study their spectroscopic signatures to search for signs of life," - said Anglada-escudos.

Original: Physorg


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