Most habitable planets may lack dry land

Apr 22, 2017, 01:32
Most habitable planets may lack dry land

That candidate is an exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth-what the worldwide team of astronomers who discovered it have deemed a "super-Earth".

All of this adds up to huge hopes for LHS 1140b. But with a mass around seven times greater than the Earth, and hence a much higher density, it implies that the exoplanet is probably made of rock with a dense iron core. While there are many candidates, an Earth-like planet orbiting a small, cool star could be the best candidate by far. Now, we know of thousands of such planets - and today, scientists may have discovered the best candidate yet for alien life.

The super-Earth and its parent star are located in the constellation Cetus, the Whale, 39 light years from the Sun, thus - relatively speaking - putting it in our galactic "neighbourhood", according to Felipe Murgas, the coauthor of the study and a researcher with Spain's Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics.

Scientists consider the super-Earth's odd behavior interesting. Instead of torching LHS 1140b, the star - known simply as LHS 1140 - provides only half the energy that Earth receives.

A report from the Royal Astronomical Society explains that if a planet were to have substantial land and water coverage, "a delicate balance must be struck between the volume of water it retains over time, and how much space it has to store it in its oceanic basins".

"We originally thought it was just something amusing going on in the atmosphere", Harvard astronomer Jason Dittmann, the study's lead author, told Gizmodo. Classified as an M dwarf star, this particular star is one-fifth the size of the sun.

Ibrahimovic inspiration keeps Man United in top-four race
United, who are fifth in the Premier League, host Chelsea on Sunday and last won a league game against the leaders in 2012. Leicester, who visit Atletico Madrid on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, remain 11th.

Lynch begins reinstatement; could end up on another team with Sherman
Any contract he and his agent Doug Hendrickson work out with the Raiders is likely to be full of incentive bonuses. The Raiders could still target a running back in the NFL Draft but there is much less urgency now to do so.

'It's not too late' to get rid of FBI director, Trump says
Trump, asked Tuesday whether he's considering taking any further action against Clinton, said, "I don't want to talk about that". Trump told The New York Times last week he believed Rice could be guilty of a crime. "I want to talk about positive", he said.

In the future, they want to use HARPS to continue observing the star and see if there are more planets around it. There are already concerns about the habitability of Proxima b, which, like LHS 1140b, orbits a red dwarf. Rocky planets within that habitable zone of a star are considered the best place to find evidence of some form of life.

Scientist believe that 1140b could be close enough that newer telescopes now under construction might be able to search for specific gasses, like oxygen, in the future. But LHS 1140b's large mass could make the study of its potential atmosphere tricky.

The next step will be to see if the planet has an atmosphere - a goal that should be hugely helped by the James Webb orbital telescope, due to be launched in October 2018 as a successor to the fabled Hubble.

Research team member Dr Nicola Astudillo-Defru, of Geneva Observatory in Switzerland, said: "The present conditions of the red dwarf are particularly favourable - LHS 1140 spins more slowly and emits less high-energy radiation than other similar low-mass stars". "We've been delighted to hear about the discovery of LHS by our colleagues from Harvard", he said. "Our understanding of the development of life may be far from complete, but it is not so dire that we must adhere to the conventional approximation that all habitable planets have an equal chance of hosting intelligent life", Simpson said.

"Realistically, we're going to be getting our first tastes of these atmospheres sometime in the next decade", Dittmann says.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
  • Hear Justin Bieber sing in Spanish on hit Latin remix

    Hear Justin Bieber sing in Spanish on hit Latin remix

    According to social media , fans seemed to go wild when they caught sight of Fonsi on Bieber's "Purpose Tour" stage. The original version of the hit remixed song, was originally released earlier this year back in January.

    Nokia 6 Starts Receiving Android 7.1.1 These Days

    It will most likely hit the market at the end of Q3, while its price is said to be about $699 (or approx Rs 45,063) in the US. Out of the two smartphones, the premium Nokia 9 is said to compete with the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8 in the top-tier segment.

    Celtics ignore perception that Cavaliers are still No. 1 in East

    Clapping could be heard from the TD Garden locker room, where Boston players were tuned in after their win on Monday. Against the Heat they took a 91-80 lead into the fourth, but Miami stormed back to force overtime and claim the win.
  • US Supreme Court Denies Arkansas Request to Begin Executions

    US Supreme Court Denies Arkansas Request to Begin Executions

    Bruce Ward and Don Davis had originally been the first of eight Arkansas inmates scheduled to die within 11 days of each other. Lawyers for Davis and Ward argue the two did not have adequate access to independent mental health experts at trial.
    Thousands in Los Angeles demand Trump's taxes

    Thousands in Los Angeles demand Trump's taxes

    But many demonstrators said they hoped Saturday's marches would convince Trump otherwise. Trump's break with precedent has raised questions about possible conflicts of interest.
    4 statements by United on passenger's removal from flight

    4 statements by United on passenger's removal from flight

    He said Dao has been released from the hospital and is staying in a "secure" location. "Currently, they are focused only on Dr. Mr Callan said he had reviewed United's contract of carriage, the fine print that passengers agree to when they buy tickets.
  • North Korea rolls out missiles, other weaponry at parade

    North Korea rolls out missiles, other weaponry at parade

    Kim Il Sung died in 1994 at the age of 82, after leading his country from its establishment in 1948 until his death. Pacific Command said the missile "blew up nearly immediately", adding the type of missile was being analysed.
    Google Image Search Launches 'Style Ideas' Feature

    Google Image Search Launches 'Style Ideas' Feature

    Google's Image Search is quite similar to Pinterest, which offers shoppable information attached to an image as well. As an added bonus, you'll also see an expanded carousel for "similar items" while searching for apparel products.
    Did Alonzo Mourning Trap Ben Carson Inside An Elevator?

    Did Alonzo Mourning Trap Ben Carson Inside An Elevator?

    Carson will make a stop in Allapattah before finishing off Wednesday at Florida Memorial University. Firefighters had to rescue him so he could then meet with former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning .
  • Ronaldo hat trick puts Madrid into Champions League semis

    Bayern saw midfielder Arturo Vidal sent off for what looked a harsh second caution to go into extra time with just 10 men. Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti said that " Lewandowski is OK - he trained yesterday with everyone and is fine".
    Stampede breaks out at New York City train station

    Stampede breaks out at New York City train station

    People ran out of a jam-packed Penn Station on Friday evening in a chaotic scene sparked by what they thought was a gunshot. No shots were fired, and the sound was of police using a stun gun on someone, NYPD Chief William Morris said.
    Burger King's Whopper get negative Wikipedia edits in ad gag

    Burger King's Whopper get negative Wikipedia edits in ad gag

    But as Google Assistant users who watched a new ad spot from Burger King recently found out, that convenience can be a curse. In March, Google Home irritated people when, unprompted, it alerted them to the opening of " Beauty and the Beast ".
popular