Sunday, June 24, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

More distant Earth-sized worlds discovered

Posted on Saturday, 9 June, 2018 | Comment icon 8 comments

Planets appear to be very common around other stars. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser/N. Risinger
Astronomers have found a solar system 160 light years away with three planets roughly the size of our own.
The discovery adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that rocky terrestrial planets like the Earth are commonplace across the cosmos and that, by extension, life may be too.

The new extrasolar worlds, which were picked up using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, are around 160 light years away. They were found by looking for the telltale dip in the light from their parent star that occurs when a planet happens to pass in front of it.

Of the three worlds, one is almost exactly the same size as the Earth while the other two are slightly larger. All of them however are too close to their star to offer suitable conditions for life to develop.

A second solar system with two 'super Earth' planets was also discovered at around the same time.

Determining exactly what kind of atmospheres these extrasolar worlds might have however will need to wait until after NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope launches in two years' time.

Source: Independent | Comments (8)

Tags: Earth, Extrasolar, Planet

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Tom the Photon on 9 June, 2018, 12:57
Excellent news, increasing the probability that many other inhabitable (according to our needs) planets are out there.  Add to this NASA's latest revelations about chemistry on Mars and the likelihood of intelligent alien life grows more realistic.  Now if only we can preserve life on this planet for a few more years, perhaps one day we’ll make contact…
Comment icon #2 Posted by kartikg on 9 June, 2018, 15:02
Anyone here knows why the planets found are always close to the star? Is it due to the capability of the instrument or some physics that most planets end up in close proximity to their stars? 
Comment icon #3 Posted by Harte on 9 June, 2018, 15:57
May have something to do with both. The star is a red dwarf. Might not be large enough to amass the material needed for planetary formation further out. And, the further out from the star the planet is, the less of a light "dip" you get when the planet transits the star. Harte
Comment icon #4 Posted by Seti42 on 9 June, 2018, 16:13
Think about all the planets we miss because their orbital plane isn't lined up right from our POV. I hope we come up with a method of detection that doesn't rely on solar transit dimming.
Comment icon #5 Posted by bison on 9 June, 2018, 17:17
There are two methods of detecting exoplanets, that don't rely on their being on an alignment of star, planet, and Earth.  Radial velocity tracks the tiny movements of the star, as a planet's gravity pulls at it, first from one side, then from the other. Ultra-high precision measurement is required. Direct detection of the planet is sometimes possible, and this method is being improved all the time. Competing, much brighter, light from the star is the main problem to be overcome, with this method.    
Comment icon #6 Posted by pallidin on 9 June, 2018, 18:27
I recall many years ago in my childhood, when extrasolar planets were not yet discovered, that the thought of there being other planets outside of our solar system was considered absurd by some members of the scientific community. Now it's formally accepted. For myself it will be stunning what the new technologies of space telescopes will be able to image, as well as spectral analysis of those planets atmospheres.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Seti42 on 9 June, 2018, 22:21
Good to know, thanks. That does make sense, but I hadn't heard that such methods were viable. They always talk about the transit dimming method when new discoveries are revealed.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 9 June, 2018, 22:29
It is going to be exiting when ESO's aptly named Extremely Large Telescope becomes operational, which should be in 2024. (artist impression)

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:


Cafe closes doors due to paranormal activity
A cafe in San Antonio has closed up shop after its owners captured something unusual on camera.
Mystery surrounds stolen Columbus letter
A copy of a letter written by Christopher Columbus was stolen from the Vatican and replaced with a fake.
Mars dust storm has encircled the entire planet
The dust storm that left the Opportunity rover out of commission is now classed as 'planet-encircling'.
Koko the sign language gorilla dies aged 46
A gentle gorilla who famously mastered sign language and understood 2,000 words has sadly passed away.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
The conjoined teachers
Posted 6-24-2018 | 0 comments
Conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel have aspirations to become school teachers.
Hermit crab finds a new home
Posted 6-18-2018 | 1 comment
Hermit crabs on this tropical island have been experiencing something of a housing shortage.
Throwing water at -52 below zero
Posted 6-10-2018 | 1 comment
What happens when you throw hot water in to the air in extreme freezing temperatures ?
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Huge black triangle UFO
6-13-2018 | Mt Maunganui New Zealand
Ghastly intuition
6-13-2018 | Bay Area CA
A haunted... desk?
6-13-2018 | Peoria, Illinois
Mystery bristle brush
5-9-2018 | Whittier, U.S.A.
Dreams and clues to the future
3-31-2018 | Philippines and Germany
Black cloaked figure
3-31-2018 | Carlisle, Cumbria, England
Three knocks
3-8-2018 | Canada
Two shadows of me
3-8-2018 | Bellflower, LA
I think I know what I saw
3-5-2018 | Near Sultan, Washington
Ghost, or something else ?
3-5-2018 | Ohio, USA

         More stories | Send us your story
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 © 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ