Guwahati  
 
logo
  Guwahati,
North East »» Tripura, Mizoram liquor shops relocate to follow SC order•••Dimapur-Kohima road 4-laning to boost food processing units in Nagaland•••Tribal developmental fund to be probed: Minister•••State »» BTC chief Hagrama lays foundation stones•••Bodoland movement group withdraws 24-hour bandh •••Sivasagar bags PM's Award for Excellence in Public Administration•••National »» Navy successfully test-fires land-attack BrahMos missile •••SC to decide validity of law linking Aadhaar with Pan card ••󈶄-year-old's life saved through new minimally invasive procedure•••International »» Rouhani, rivals in race; Ahmadinejad barred •••'Female scientists overrepresented on Twitter'•••Queen Elizabeth-II celebrates 91st birthday•••    
  Home » Front Page » Story
 
Astronomers to look for alien life on 'Super Earth'

New exoplanet is 1.4 times the size of earth, located 40 light-years away in the constellation of Cetus

London, April 20: A rocky exoplanet orbiting in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star 40 light-years from the Earth may be the best place scientists have found so far to look for signs of life beyond the Solar System, say astronomers who discovered it.

The researchers believe that the conditions on the newly discovered “super-Earth” — which is about 1.4 times the size of our home planet — are conducive for liquid surface water and a favorable atmosphere to exist.

“This is the most exciting exoplanet I’ve seen in the past decade,” said study lead author Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, US.

“We could hardly hope for a better target to perform one of the biggest quests in science — searching for evidence of life beyond Earth,” Dittmann said.

The astronomers have estimated the age of the planet to be at least five billion years.

They also deduced that it has a diameter 1.4 times larger than the Earth — almost 18,000 km.

But with a mass around seven times greater than the Earth, and hence a much higher density, it implies that the exoplanet is probably made of rock with a dense iron core, according to the study published in the journal Nature.

This, along with the fact that it passes in front of its parent star as it orbits, makes it one of the most exciting future targets for atmospheric studies.

This super-Earth might prove to be an even more important target for the future characterisation of planets in the habitable zone than Proxima b or TRAPPIST-1, according to the astronomers.

The newly discovered super-Earth LHS 1140b orbits in the habitable zone around a faint red dwarf star, named LHS 1140, in the constellation of Cetus.

“The present conditions of the red dwarf are particularly favourable — LHS 1140 spins more slowly and emits less high-energy radiation than other similar low-mass stars,” team member Nicola Astudillo-Defru from Geneva Observatory, Switzerland, explained.

The international team of astronomers discovered the planet using European Southern Observatory’s HARPS instrument at La Silla, Chile and other telescopes around the world for the research.

Red dwarfs are much smaller and cooler than the Sun and, although LHS 1140b is ten times closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun, it only receives about half as much sunlight from its star as the Earth and lies in the middle of the habitable zone.

The orbit is seen almost edge-on from Earth and as the exoplanet passes in front of the star once per orbit it blocks a little of its light every 25 days.

For life as we know it to exist, a planet must have liquid surface water and retain an atmosphere.

When red dwarf stars are young, they are known to emit radiation that can be damaging for the atmospheres of the planets that orbit them.

In this case, the planet’s large size means that a magma ocean could have existed on its surface for millions of years.

This seething ocean of lava could feed steam into the atmosphere long after the star has calmed to its current, steady glow, replenishing the planet with water, the study said.

The astronomers hope that with more powerful telescopes coming up in the future they will be able to probe the planet for signs of water and other conditions suitable for harbouring life. (IANS)

.
       
Maximum
 
Minimum
 
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
 Arunachal News
Rebia urges Centre to release special package under AMRUT
Land acquisition for defence, new ALGs discussed
State's oral history, folklores vulnerable: CM
Employees association submits memo to CM
 Meghalaya News
BJP will take Meghalaya by storm, says Himanta
Casual workers' welfare: CWHA apprises CM
'Civil servants must fight odds for good governance'
War of words between KSU & Congress party
 Northeast News
Tripura, Mizoram liquor shops relocate to follow SC order
Dimapur-Kohima road 4-laning to boost food processing units in Nagaland
Tribal developmental fund to be probed: Minister
No central pay scale to Tripura government employees
 Cachar News
'No ghost or spirit in the three schools of Sonai': SMCH medical team
Relief to employees of Planning and Statistical Department
Cachar DC wins CM Award for excellence in public administration
Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri bodies to press for patta land
 National News
Navy successfully test-fires land-attack BrahMos missile
SC to decide validity of law linking Aadhaar with Pan card
60-year-old's life saved through new minimally invasive procedure
Delhi civic polls to witness keen contest after hectic campaigning
 International News
Rouhani, rivals in race; Ahmadinejad barred
'Female scientists overrepresented on Twitter'
Queen Elizabeth-II celebrates 91st birthday
India will pay if it plays Dalai card: Chinese daily
 State-1
BTC chief Hagrama lays foundation stones
Bodoland movement group withdraws 24-hour bandh
Sivasagar bags PM's Award for Excellence in Public Administration
Inclusion of Dibrugarh MLA in BJP government demanded
 State-2
SSB seizes huge amount of cannabis
Drive against tinted glass vehicles in Sivasagar
Two cars gutted
NDFB cadre nabbed
 Local Sports
Royal win in Super Over
New archery training centre
Assam beat Mumbai 5-2
 Sports
Mohun Bagan, Aizawl FC lock horns in I-League title decider
Mumbai aim to exploit home condition vs Delhi
Bopanna–Cuevas enter Monte Carlo quarters
Confident Hyderabad face rejuvenated Pune
 Editorial
Long-pending Charges
Pulling up Bureaucrats
Reductions in tropical diseases in India
Letters to the Editor
 Op-Ed (Sunday)
Of Oppenheimer and the Bhagwat Gita
Threat of Governor's rule looms large in J&K
The Art of Advertisement
 
Assam
 
Assam is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Dispur located in the city of Guwahati.
 
more...
Nagaland
 
Nagaland is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Kohima. located in the Guwahati city.
 
more...
Mizoram
 
Mizoram is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Aizwal. located in the Guwahati city.
 
more...
Meghalaya
 
Meghalaya is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Shillong. located in the Guwahati.
 
more...
Manipur
 
Manipur is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Imphal.
 
more...
Tripura
 
Tripura is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Agartala.
 
more...
Arunachal Pradesh
 
Arunachal Pradesh is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Itanagar.
 
more...
Sikkim
 
Sikkim is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Gangtok.
 
more...
Home  |  Guwahati City  |  Editorial  |  International  |  National  |  Business  |  Arunachal  |  Meghalaya   |  Northeast  |  State  |  Cachar  |  Sports   |  Local Sports
 Archive  |  Melange  |  Saturday Fare  |  Junior Sentinel  |  Multilingual  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Advertise with us  |  Dongmusa