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03rd Apr 2023

Radio signal detected from alien planet

Callum Boyle

New findings have suggested alien life could exist

A ‘coherent’ radio signal has been detected from an alien planet, which could make it more habitable for life forms.

The signal has led people to believe that the planet has a magnetic field around it.

Planet Earth also has a magnetic field which helps to protect it from high energy particles and plasma which come from the sun.

Researchers have previously been unable to identify if distant planets also have magnetic fields however YZ Ceti b – a planet roughly 12 light years away – has sent a repeating radio signal that comes from the star and is affected by the planet.

Those researching compared the discovery to the northern lights, which happens when high energy particles from the Sun interact with the Earth’s atmosphere.

Sebastian Pineda, an astrophysicist at the University of Colorado, said: “We’re actually seeing the aurora on the star — that’s what this radio emission is.

“There should also be aurora on the planet if it has its own atmosphere.”

Joe Pesce, program director for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, added: “The search for potentially habitable or life-bearing worlds in other solar systems depends in part on being able to determine if rocky, Earth-like exoplanets actually have magnetic fields.

“This research shows not only that this particular rocky exoplanet likely has a magnetic field but provides a promising method to find more.”

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