Discovered ‘clone of the Earth’, where life is promising

Around a faint red dwarf star named Ross 508 located just 36.5 light-years away, astronomers science just found what could be an enlarged replica of Earth: Super-Earth Ross 508 b.

New research by astronomer Hiroki Harakawa from the Subaru telescope (located in Hawaii – USA) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) shows that Ross 508 b is a promising planet for the hunt. find life.

Discovered 'clone of the Earth', where life is promising - 1

Graphic image depicting the newly discovered crimson super-Earth. (Photo: SMM/IAC)

The planet, which is four times the mass of Earth, orbits its crimson parent star every 10.75 days. It’s an incredibly narrow orbit relative to Earth, but because Ross 508 is a much cooler red dwarf star than the Sun, its proximity accidentally puts the planet right next to the outer edge of its “habitable zone”.

The “life zone” – Goldilocks – of a star is where the temperature and radiation conditions are right for liquid water and life to arise. But this region is also relative.

The habitable zone of the solar system has Venus, Earth and Mars, but two planets near us seem unlikely to have modern life, while some moons of Jupiter, Saturn such as Europa, Enceladus outside of the habitable zone, there may be… life, according to studies from NASA.

According to Science Alert, the new study makes Ross 508 b a good candidate, especially when measurements show that the radiation it receives from its parent star is only about 1.4 times the radiation that Earth receives from the Sun. – a level still acceptable for life, even ordinary life forms on Earth, especially if it is protected by a suitable atmosphere.

Several years ago, Ross 508 b was first observed by the same Subaru telescope, with indications that it was a super-Earth. At the time, however, its possibility of life was ignored, because scientists thought a smaller, Earth-sized world would be more habitable.

Harakawa’s new research is published online on arXiv and is set to be published in the next issue of the scientific journal. Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan.

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