Astronomers have discovered two new “super-Earths”, and one of them could potentially support life

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(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have discovered two neighboring planets that are very similar to Earth, but larger. One of these planets, according to SETI, has all the conditions for life to exist in any of the forms known to us.

A group of international scientists led by a Belgian team announced that they have found two “super-Earths” that are larger than Earth but smaller than ice giants such as Neptune and Uranus. They are located 100 light years from us.

Both exoplanets orbit SPECULOOS-2, a small cool dwarf star named after the SPECULOOS (Search for Habitable Planets Darkening Supercold Stars) telescopes in Chile and Spain, which were used to search for the low-temperature star they orbit.

Interesting facts found on exoplanets

One of these new super-Earths, unnamed LP 890-9b, was the first to be found and is about 30 percent larger than our Earth.

Another, SPECULOOS-2c, was discovered after the researchers aimed their equipment at the first of the planets orbiting it. It is about 40 percent larger than Earth and may even be habitable.

One of the most interesting things about a potentially habitable planet is that it is much closer to its sun than we are to ours.

Although this planet orbits very close to its star, the amount of stellar radiation received is still low, and may have liquid water on the surface.

This discrepancy is possible because the planet’s sun is “about 6.5 times smaller than our Sun and has a surface temperature half that of our star, ” Francisco Pozuelos, principal co-author of the work, a researcher at the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics, said in a press release.

SPECULOOS-2c is notably the second planet to fit within the “habitable zone” following the discovery of “ocean planet” TOI-1452b, which orbits a binary star system about 100 light-years away in the other direction.

It is worth noting that both of these discoveries are extremely exciting, because they can have significant implications for our further search for extraterrestrial life.


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