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Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in Science |

Scientists discover Earth-like planet in a nearby star

Scientists discover Earth-like planet in a nearby star

Under the known as HD 40307, an international team of astronomers have found a planet, a “super-Earth”, a habitable zone close to the star that is 42 light years from Earth . Its features and attributes are so promising that astronomers believe could be capable of supporting life. Its relative proximity planet would be observed optically.

is a star that was discovered three planets for several years, in 2008. A team of scientists from the European Southern Observatory with the help of HARPS spectrograph acknowledged the three bodies with this star, smaller and less luminous and cooler than our sun

The study went later to a group of researchers at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, finding three new planets, one of which caught the attention of scientists. It was a planet with life chances and attributes, a body that appeared with the features needed to support life due to its position in the center of a habitable zone around the star.

According to Mikko Tuomi, who led the research:

We have pioneered new techniques of data analysis, including the use of wavelength as a filter to reduce the influence of the activity of this star in the signal. This significantly increases our sensitivity and allowed us to reveal the existence of three new super-Earths around the star known as HD 40307, making it a system of six planets. Discoveries like this are really exciting. These systems are natural targets for the next generation of large telescopes, both from and from space

Unlike the other five planets found, all too close to the star and therefore too hot for liquid water to exist on its surface, the latter seems to indicate that both climate and atmosphere would be similar to ours could be habitable. According to Hugh Jones, another of the researchers:

The study indicates that the orbit of the new planet makes its climate and atmosphere can be suitable to support life. But not only the planet, if this world has a moon, it could also fulfill the conditions of habitability, and increase the likelihood that the planet possesses life due to the effect of the tides.

A distant planet in our solar system that now awaits extensive analysis in finding evidence to suggest possibilities. Anyway, this is the closest to date with these features. Unlike Kepler-22b, the first with the potential for habitability found 600 light years from Earth, this is 42.

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