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23rd May 2024

Scientists discover earth-like planet which could be home to alien life

Ryan Price

It’s a similar size to earth and has the same temperature as the 2022 UK heatwave.

Researchers from the University of Warwick say they have been part of an international team that has discovered a new habitable Earth-sized planet.

In collaboration with NASA and the European Space Agency, the team of scientists used satellites to confirm Gliese 12 b‘s existence and characteristics like its size, temperature, and distance away from Earth.

They discovered that the planet is a distance of 40 lights years away and has the same temperature as the 2022 UK heatwave, which is roughly 42C.

Warwick astrophysicist Dr Thomas Wilson said: “This is a really exciting discovery and will help our research into planets similar to Earth across our galaxy.”

It orbits its version of the sun every 12.8 days, located in the constellation Pisces and the planet receives 1.6 times more energy from its star as Earth does from the sun, Dr Wilson said.

“Thrillingly, this planet is the closest Earth-sized and temperature planet we know,” Dr Wilson added.

“The light we are seeing now is from 1984 (40 years ago) – that’s how long it has taken to reach us here on Earth.

“Planets like Gliese 12 b are very few and far between, so for us to be able to examine one this closely and learn about its atmosphere and temperature is very rare.”

NASA describes the planet as a red dwarf, and said “red dwarfs tend to be magnetically active, resulting in frequent, powerful X-ray flares”.

They also shared an artist’s concept of what the newly-discovered planet would look like.

They added: “During a transit, the host star’s light passes through any atmosphere, effectively sampling it.

“Different gas molecules absorb different colors, so the transit provides a set of chemical fingerprints that can be detected by facilities like NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.”

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