Astronomy Science X-Files

Scientists Find Potentially Habitable ‘Super-Earth’ And 60 More Planets

superearth1

We always want to know the unknown as it is an integral part of our human nature. We still don’t know about the existence of life other than our Mother-Earth. Scientists have been trying to find life on other planets for ages. They are developing new and unconventional gadgets with powerful telescopes and using them to observe the planetary systems closer to our solar system. And still, their search for finding life on other planets has been futile. But they are collecting data and calculating some factors to determine the planet which can sustain life. They earlier found a whopping number of 54 planets and continued their search, which so far seems to be a fruitful one.

hd_85512_b_super-earthThe Super-Earth

Total 114 planets have been discovered so far

Astronomers have further discovered 60 new planets along with the additional 54 potential planets which heighten the chance of finding one or more than one planets which could sustain life. Scientists believe that at least few of these 114 planets might have a nourishing environment like Earth.

All we know about the Super-Earth

But the scientists are eyeing on one of these exoplanets. They are calling it the “super-Earth” although it has a real name, Gliese 411-b. This planet is located at the fourth nearest star system from ours and it has a rocky surface. We can assume that it is orbiting around its own sun just like the solar system and may have the perfect condition to sustain life.

keck-1-telescopeThe Keck-I telescope

1600 planets have been regularly observed by 16000 US astronomers for almost 20 years using the Keck-I telescope in Hawaii. Amongst these 16000 planets, the astrophysicists selected the mentioned 114 planets and discovered the Gliese 411-b which may have the possibility to nourish life.

All about the research of Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey

This research was a part of the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey which was started by three scientists, Steve Vogt, Geoffrey Marcy (from University of California), and Paul Butler (from Carnegie Institute of Science, Washington) in 1996.

Dr Tuomi, the only European in the research team, who led the data analysis, has expressed wonderment that all the stars nearest to our solar system have planets orbiting them, as the astronomers were not convinced about that even just five years ago. He also said that the new planets would also help them understand the formation of the planetary system. The research will also provide valuable information on the planets as the scientists will try to give efforts to image these planets undeviatingly.

Dr Butler said that this paper and the data is his biggest achievement as an astronomer because he has put his whole life’s effort in it. His paper has been accepted for publication in the leading astrophysics magazine – The Astrophysics Journal.

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This data analysis obtained by the astronomers contributing to the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey can open up a new horizon on finding life on other planets. After reading all these science fiction stories and sci-fi movies about aliens for many years, we are eagerly waiting for the green signal from the scientists about the fact that the extraterrestrials do exist.

Scientists Find Potentially Habitable ‘Super-Earth’ And 60 More Planets
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Supriti Ganguly

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