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New Earth-sized extrasolar planet discovered

Posted on Thursday, 16 November, 2017 | Comment icon 19 comments

Could there be extraterrestrial life on Ross 128 b ? Image Credit: NASA
Situated just 11 light years away, Ross 128 b is shaping up to be a promising place to look for life.
Discovered by the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) instrument at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, this new extrasolar world is 1.35 times the mass of our own planet and orbits around 20 times closer to its parent star ( a red dwarf ) than the Earth orbits the Sun.

While Ross 128 b is further away from us than Proxima b - another potentially habitable world situated a mere 4.22 light years away - scientists believe that it is more likely to be capable of supporting life.

"Just because Proxima Centauri blasts its planet with strong flares and high energy radiation, yes, I think Ross 128 is much more comfortable for the development of life," said co-discoverer Nicola Astudillo-Defru from the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland.

"But we still need to know what the atmosphere of Ross 128 b is like."

"Depending on its composition and the reflectivity of its clouds, the exoplanet may be life friendly with liquid water as the Earth, or sterile like Venus."

Determining exactly what kind of atmospheres Ross 128 b and Proxima b might have however will need to wait until after NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope launches in 2019.

Source: BBC News | Comments (19)

Tags: Extrasolar Planets

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 17 November, 2017, 0:31
Nonsense, A signal from an extraterrestrial source is NOT a more probable cause. It is a possible, but unlikely cause. Applying Occam's razor the most plausible cause remains man made interference. Your entire argument is of the form: hypothesis A (man made interference) does not fully explain the observations therefore hypothesis B (signal of extraterrestrial origin) MUST be the most likely. You have presented zero evidence to support the fact that this is a signal of extraterrestrial origin... none, zilch, nada, This is a massive logical fallacy, known as the bifurcation fallacy. It totally... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by _KB_ on 17 November, 2017, 9:04
Just because it's earth sized doesn't mean it's likely to have life on it, why do they always think that just because something resembles earth in any way shape or form it means that it has potential for life... i mean if we go by earth standards then it's way too far away from the habitable zone anyway
Comment icon #12 Posted by toast on 17 November, 2017, 9:17
Ross 128b is orbiting its star at a distance of approximately 0,05AU so to claim its too far away by Earth standards, whatever that should mean here, is nonsense.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Hammerclaw on 17 November, 2017, 9:44
Any rocky planet in a star's goldilocks zone is called "earthlike".
Comment icon #14 Posted by joc on 17 November, 2017, 13:22
If the civilization is hundreds of thousands of years old.... Maybe, translated, the signals say...Help...our Sun is dying... Finding life elsewhere in the Universe isn't like finding a needle in a's more like finding a single grain of salt in the Sahara Desert.
Comment icon #15 Posted by third_eye on 17 November, 2017, 13:25
And anything outside of that is the Goldie Hawn Zone ... ~ [00.00:38] ~
Comment icon #16 Posted by alfa015 on 18 November, 2017, 3:27
My analysis:
Comment icon #17 Posted by _KB_ on 18 November, 2017, 22:19
sorrygot confused in my language an exoplanet is a planet thats flying outside the orbit of a star freely in space or something like that, just googled it, apparently in English it means something entirely different
Comment icon #18 Posted by toast on 18 November, 2017, 22:32
Exoplanets always orbit a star but not our sun and the free flying planets are called PMOs/planemos.
Comment icon #19 Posted by _KB_ on 19 November, 2017, 9:55
will take note of that

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