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Space & Astronomy

New Earth-sized extrasolar planet discovered

By T.K. Randall
November 16, 2017 · Comment icon 18 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 (18)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 7 years ago
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 totall... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by _KB_ 7 years ago
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 #11 Posted by toast 7 years ago
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 #12 Posted by Hammerclaw 7 years ago
Any rocky planet in a star's goldilocks zone is called "earthlike".
Comment icon #13 Posted by joc 7 years ago
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 #14 Posted by third_eye 7 years ago
And anything outside of that is the Goldie Hawn Zone ... ~   [00.00:38] ~
Comment icon #15 Posted by alfa015 7 years ago
My analysis:   
Comment icon #16 Posted by _KB_ 7 years ago
sorry got 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 #17 Posted by toast 7 years ago
Exoplanets always orbit a star but not our sun and the free flying planets are called PMOs/planemos.    
Comment icon #18 Posted by _KB_ 7 years ago
will take note of that 

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