Quantcast
Connect with us

Fourth potentially habitable planet is discovered

Published

on

WASHINGTON — International astronomers said on Thursday they have found the fourth potentially habitable planet outside our solar system with temperatures that could support water and life about 22 light-years from Earth.

The team analyzed data from the European Southern Observatory about a star known as GJ 667C, which is known as an M-class dwarf star and puts out much less heat than our Sun.

However, at least three planets are orbiting close to the star, and one of them appears to be close enough that it likely absorbs about as much incoming light and energy as Earth, has similar surface temperatures and perhaps water.

The new rocky planet, GJ 667Cc, orbits its star every 28.15 days — meaning its year equals about one Earth month — and has a mass at least 4.5 times that of Earth, according to the research published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

“This planet is the new best candidate to support liquid water and, perhaps, life as we know it,” said Guillem Anglada-Escudé who was with the Carnegie Institution for Science when he conducted the research but has since moved on to the University of Gottingen in Germany.

The theory about water, however, cannot be confirmed until astronomers learn more about the planet’s atmosphere.

ADVERTISEMENT

Other planets circling the same star — which is part of a three-star system — could include a gas-giant and an additional super-Earth with an orbital period of 75 days, but more observations are needed to confirm that.

Some experts have been skeptical that M-class dwarf stars could have planets that support life because they are too dim and tend to have lots of solar flare activity which could send off lethal radiation to nearby planets.

And even though this star, GJ 667C, has a much lower abundance of elements heavier than helium, such as iron, carbon, and silicon — the building blocks of terrestrial planets — than our Sun, astronomers are intrigued by the possibilities.

“This was expected to be a rather unlikely star to host planets. Yet there they are, around a very nearby, metal-poor example of the most common type of star in our galaxy,” said co-author Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at University of California Santa Cruz.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The detection of this planet, this nearby and this soon, implies that our galaxy must be teeming with billions of potentially habitable rocky planets.”

French astronomers in May last year confirmed the first exoplanet, Gliese 581d, to meet key requirements for sustaining life. It is a rocky planet about 20 light-years away.

Swiss astronomers reported in August that another planet, HD 85512 b, about 36 light-years away seemed to be in the habitable zone of its star.

The US space agency NASA confirmed its first such planet late last year, Kepler 22b, about 600 light-years away.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Donald Trump whines: ‘My life has always been a fight’

Published

on

The full interview with President Donald Trump finally aired on ABC Sunday, revealing the shocking way that he views his life.

Trump lamented that he's had such a hard life, as the son of multi-millionaires who paid to get him out of trouble multiple times.

"You're a fighter. You, you, it feels like you're in a constant kind of churn--" host George Stephanopoulos began.

"Yeah, uh, my life has always been a fight," Trump said. "And I enjoy that I guess, I don't know if I enjoy it or not, I guess -- sometimes I have false fights like the Russian witch hunt. That's a false fight. That's a made-up, uh, hoax. And I had to fight that."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

The right-wing scored more in years of Trump than eight years of George W. Bush: report

Published

on

President George W. Bush oversaw eight years that restricted rights, banned LGBTQ equality, appointed anti-choice judges and so much more. But under Donald Trump's presidency, social conservatives have managed to roll back any progress made by President Barack Obama's leadership.

A new Axios report listed out any anti-LGBTQ, anti-women and anti-poor policies.

“He campaigned saying that he would be a good friend to LGBT people,” James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, told VOX. "Actions speak far louder than words. And what he's done has been a wreck."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Israel’s Netanyahu just christened a building named after Trump — that doesn’t even exist

Published

on

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent his Father’s Day dedicating a new Trump Tower-type building that hasn't been built in a town that doesn't exist.

Standing in front of a large sign saying "Trump Heights," Netanyahu, who is being forced back into another election, announced the building before planning even began, Axios reported.

A great day on the Golan. PM Netanyahu and I had the honor to dedicate “Trump Heights” — first time Israel has dedicated a village in honor of a sitting president since Harry Truman (1949). Happy Birthday Mr. President!! @POTUS pic.twitter.com/fdYWzokFLK

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link