40 light-years separate the Earth and potentially habitable planet


08/11/2012

Special attention is attracted scientists - HD 40307 - the sixth planet, because it was almost in the middle "of life" in front of his star. "The scope of life," the researchers named the area in a circle the star, where the plane of the planet resembling Earth, is likely to have liquid water.

Not far from HD 40307, astronomers have discovered a planet that is potentially suitable for living, located in the 42 years from our planet.

The first such facility outside the solar system last year found telescope "Kepler". But the star is located much further - in 600 years.

HD 40307 in the constellation Painter - this is an orange dwarf class K, which is lighter than the Sun by about 23% and as much dimmer. European scholars of Southern Observatory in 2008 with the HARPS spectrograph found next to the star of the three planets - the weight of 9.4, 6.7 and 4.2 times the mass of Earth’s mass. These objects orbiting the lights in a very "tight" orbits - one of their "year" lasts 20.4, 9.6 and 4.3 Earth days.

A team of researchers with Mikko Tuomi of English University of Hertfordshire again compared the data with the HARPS spectrograph new sensitive techniques, and found three more "missing" object.

The paper says - "We found two additional clear signal at intervals of 51 and 34 days, corresponding to candidate planets with small masses. In the sixth planet’s orbital period of about 200 days, and its mass is almost equal to seven masses of the Earth. "

According to estimates, the "area of life" HD 40307 has taken the band to 0.85 astronomical units (the average distance of the Earth from the Sun). The radius of the orbit the star HD 40307 is 0.6 astronomical units, and it is in this range.

Hugh Jones, one of the members of said - "Huge radius of the orbit of the planet is found that the atmosphere and its climate may well provide dwelling on it." The researchers also point out that the system HD 40307 should be a target for further research using space telescopes.


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