Scientists discover alien planet as best candidate for life as we know it

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Scientists discover alien planet as best candidate for life as we know itScientists have located an exoplanet that’s the best candidate for life as we know it

Only a few decades ago, the thought of any alien planets existing in the reaches of space were just hypothetical ideas. Now, we know of thousands of such planets – and today, scientists may have discovered the best candidate yet for alien life.

That candidate is an exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth—what the international team of astronomers who discovered it have deemed a “super-Earth.” Using ESO’s HARPS instrument and a range of telescopes around the world, the astronomers located the exoplanet orbiting the dim star – LHS 1140 – within its habitable zone. This world passes in front of its parent stars as it orbits, has likely retained most of its atmosphere, and is a little larger and much more massive than the Earth. In short, super-Earth LHS 1140b is among the most exciting known subjects for atmospheric studies.

Although the faint red dwarf star LHS 1140b is ten times closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun, because red dwarfs are much smaller and cooler than the Sun is, the super-Earth lies in the middle of the habitable zone and receives around half as much sunlight from its star as the Earth does.

“This is the most exciting exoplanet I’ve seen in the past decade,” lead author Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said in an ESO science release. “We could hardly hope for a better target to perform one of the biggest quests in science — searching for evidence of life beyond Earth.”

LIFE AS WE KNOW IT

To support life as we know it, a planet must retain an atmosphere and have liquid surface water. When red dwarf stars are young, they emit radiation that can damage the atmospheres of planets around them. This planet’s large size indicates that a magma ocean may have existed on its surface for eons, feeding steam into the atmosphere and replenishing the planet with water until well within the time the star had cooled to its current, steady glow. The astronomers estimate the planet is at least five billion years old, and deduce that it has a diameter of almost 18,000 kilometers (11,185 mi)— 1.4 times larger than that of the Earth. Its greater mass and density implies that it is probably made of rock with a dense iron core.

Two of the European members of the team, Xavier Delfosse and Xavier Bonfils, stated in the release: “The LHS 1140 system might prove to be an even more important target for the future characterization of planets in the habitable zone than Proxima b or TRAPPIST-1. This has been a remarkable year for exoplanet discoveries!”

Scientists expect observations with the Hubble Space Telescope will soon allow them to assess how much high-energy radiation the exoplanet receives, and further into the future — with the help of new telescopes like ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope and the James Webb Telescope — detailed observations of the atmospheres of exoplanets will be possible.

Source: futurism.com

Read more here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Tornos
  1. 24/02 16:29

    SETE: Actions in Brussels for Greek tourism completed (video)

  2. 24/02 16:20

    Chinese Tourism: Europe remains top destination for long-haul travel in 2018

  3. 24/02 16:08

    Site Minder: 6 things hoteliers should know about working with Airbnb platform

  4. 24/02 15:44

    Which tour operators shall receive €3.4 million from Greek National Tourism Organization (complete list)

  5. 24/02 15:18

    TUI: €1.8 million from Greek National Tourism Organization for ads in 12 markets

  6. 24/02 15:09

    National Hellenic Museum to showcase impressive Ancient Greek Coins

  7. 24/02 15:04

    Privatization investments: Water utility stakes return to the Greek state

  8. 24/02 14:59

    The National Herald: The 50 wealthiest Greek-Americans list for 2018

  9. 24/02 14:54

    FinMin: Greeks to see €3.5 billion tax reduction in near future

  10. 24/02 14:46

    Petition launched for Greece to be Included at World Disney’s Epcot

  11. 24/02 14:42

    Archimedes Museum in Olympia among the 'best hidden' museums of the planet

  12. 24/02 14:36

    Elite Evzones troops to participate in Greek National Day Event in Melbourne

  13. 24/02 14:33

    Fitch Ratings upgrades Eurobank's, National Bank's Greek state-guaranteed bonds

  14. 24/02 12:23

    Report: Elon Musk establishes Tesla Hub in Greece

  15. 24/02 10:02

    Romanian tourist inflows and imports from Greece soar in 2017

  16. 23/02 22:59

    Humanoid robot with artificial intelligence at Munich airport

  17. 23/02 22:53

    Aegean Airlines offers 500,000 domestic seats from 19€

  18. 23/02 22:33

    Dream job: Getting paid to hang with flamingos at Bahamas Resort all day

  19. 23/02 22:20

    Gourmet Greek truffles reach US market and beyond

  20. 23/02 22:02

    Businessmen 'adopt' Natura 2000 islet in Greece and single resident

  21. 23/02 21:53

    Ancient Greek Delphic Games at ITB Grand Finale in Berlin

  22. 23/02 19:48

    Report: The magic of the unique Chios product of mastiha

  23. 23/02 19:41

    Greece-Ireland to open new chapter in bilateral relations and tourism

  24. 23/02 19:34

    Greek meteorologists: Good weather to last until Saturday

  25. 23/02 19:22

    Ambassador interview: Greek tourism is on the radar of Japanese investors

  26. 23/02 18:53

    TripAdvisor: Three Greek beaches in top-25 in Europe for 2018

  27. 23/02 18:30

    Greece's Grivalia Properties to pay 0.35 euro dividend to shareholders

  28. 23/02 16:15

    Free tours to Antikythira shipwreck every weekend till March 18

  29. 23/02 12:47

    Greek tax authorities plan one million confiscations in 2018

  30. 23/02 10:33

    Solar electric vehicle charging station on Greek island of Tilos

  31. 23/02 00:58

    Greek Tax Authority AADE to audit tourist firms ahead of summer season

  32. 23/02 00:49

    PURE Wellness Rooms: A new program at Galaxy Hotel in Heraklion

  33. 23/02 00:39

    The Sun: Greek island of Zante wildest holiday hotspot for 2018

  34. 23/02 00:25

    German tourism: Strong increase in air travel to Greece during 2017

  35. 23/02 00:14

    Airbnb fined 300,000 euros by Spain’s Balearic Islands government

  36. 22/02 23:58

    Quality Service Institute survey for N-TV: The best travel agency chains in Germany

  37. 22/02 23:40

    eDreams: Aegean second best airline in the world for 2018

  38. 22/02 22:56

    Report: Ski champion Lindsey Vonn keeps secret message in Greek

  39. 22/02 22:48

    Athens Embassy: Prospects for investments by US business in Greek tourism

  40. 22/02 22:37

    Pantanassa Monastery in Mystras among Greece’s most revered places

  41. 22/02 22:35

    Greece to support FYROM’s inclusion in EU Strategy for tourism

  42. 22/02 22:28

    Report: Giannis Antetokounmpo lands ‘Greek Freak’ trademark

  43. 22/02 22:16

    Greek Telecoms firm OTE announces €800 million in investments for 2017

  44. 22/02 22:12

    Renowned cantor Alberto Mizrahi performs at event on Holocaust in Greece

  45. 22/02 22:03

    Greek bond yields dive after Moody's upgrade from Caa2 to B3

  46. 22/02 21:42

    Drone footage captures spooky Greek shipwreck

  47. 22/02 20:55

    Czech tourists to Greece seen up 15% in summer 2018

  48. 22/02 16:34

    Greece's Council of State approves Hellinikon development plan

  49. 22/02 14:23

    Australian steals $200,000 worth of gold "just to go on a Greek holiday"

  50. 22/02 12:18

    Greek Parliament approves sale of 67% stake in Thessaloniki port

  51. 22/02 10:55

    Giannis Antetokounmpo: New global ambassador of The Hellenic Initiative

  52. 22/02 01:17

    Greek Tourism Confederation SETE President continues meetings in Brussels

  53. 22/02 01:00

    Air Animal: Business or Economy Class for your pet? - Check the price list

  54. 22/02 00:48

    Media: Online travel giant Priceline changes name to Booking Holdings

  55. 22/02 00:43

    Marina with capacity of 1,000 vessels and a hotel approved in Heraklion, Crete

  56. 22/02 00:19

    Luxurious Abaton Island hotel in Hersonissos to open on April 20th

  57. 22/02 00:09

    Conde Nast Traveler: Three Greek resorts among Best Beach Hotels in Europe

  58. 21/02 23:45

    German tourism: "Lift-off" for Greece with +41% in early bookings during 2018 season

  59. 21/02 23:22

    Event on antiquities unearthed during excavations for Thessaloniki metro

  60. 21/02 23:18

    Greek Notary Association president: Nationwide e-auctions after February 28

  61. 21/02 23:11

    Philip’s ancient palace at Aigai in northern Greece to open in May

  62. 21/02 23:07

    Central Bank: More than 27 million tourists visited Greece in 2017

  63. 21/02 22:49

    Row over Piraeus port master plan leads to extension for deliberation

  64. 21/02 22:45

    UN and Greece's southern Aegean region to protect marine environment

  65. 21/02 22:35

    Report: Amazing film on Athens goes online

  66. 21/02 20:30

    Bear cub placed on internet sale rescued by Arcturos in Greece

  67. 21/02 19:57

    Media: Last legal obstacle for Helleniko project to be cleared this month

  68. 21/02 19:46

    Kuoni: Demand for holidays in Greece soars in 2018 - the top experiences & hotels

  69. 21/02 19:16

    7,000 year old enigma on rare exhibit at National Archaeological Museum in Athens (video)

  70. 21/02 18:44

    Thessaloniki Metro dig reveals headless Aphrodite statue among 300,000 Ancient Greek finds

  71. 21/02 12:52

    EasyJet to launch three more flights to and from Greece for summer 2018

  72. 21/02 10:48

    Air France: Strike disruptions to hit flights on Feb. 22

  73. 21/02 02:55

    Georgian Airways: New connection from Tbilisi to Thessaloniki

  74. 21/02 02:45

    Credit ratings for all companies and individuals operating in Greece

  75. 21/02 02:38

    Helleniko investment and e-auctions bump Greece's bailout tranche for March

  76. 21/02 02:34

    Greek banks ask for auction property assets tax exemption

  77. 21/02 02:24

    More new hotels replacing older and lower quality units across Greece

  78. 21/02 02:03

    Giant “Beluga” plane lands at Athens International Airport

  79. 21/02 01:47

    Tourist arrivals in Cyprus increase during January by 21.2%

  80. 21/02 01:36

    One of Europe’s most exotic landscapes located on Crete island in Greece

  81. 21/02 01:24

    Clean Monday customs and traditions turn Greece into giant party (video)

  82. 21/02 01:10

    Greek tourism revenues up in December

  83. 20/02 20:15

    Greek Carnival celebrations in Galaxidi get a little flour power (video)

  84. 20/02 18:44

    Athens to become World Book Capital for 2018

  85. 20/02 14:29

    Longest Balkan railway tunnel opens in central Greece (video)

  86. 20/02 12:23

    Greek gastronomy tours 15 countries through Sympossio

  87. 20/02 10:10

    Report: Why Greek honey is best in the world

  88. 19/02 23:29

    Kite-flying show and Clean Monday feast at horse-racing track in Markopoulo

  89. 18/02 22:57

    Greece's Kalohori Lagoon at photo exhibition for World Wetlands Day

  90. 18/02 22:50

    Visit Greece: Northern city of Veria offers 2.500 years of history

  91. 18/02 22:46

    Weather not helping as Attica municipalities plan Clean Monday celebration

  92. 18/02 22:42

    Greek wine exports soar attracting world’s attention

  93. 18/02 22:37

    Patras Carnival Grand Parade concludes in riot of sound and colours (video)

  94. 18/02 22:13

    Classic ancient Greek trials at National Hellenic Museum in Chicago (video)

  95. 18/02 22:07

    Greek American professionals host US tax reform panel discussion

  96. 18/02 22:02

    President Pavlopoulos: Olive tree symbolizes Greek civilization through the ages

  97. 18/02 21:40

    New Diving Park given green light in Chania on the Greek island of Crete

  98. 18/02 18:55

    IMTM 2018: Thessaloniki is a preferred destination by Israeli tourists

  99. 18/02 16:29

    Hellenic Responsible Business Awards for 2018 announced

  100. 18/02 14:13

    Thessaloniki in National Geographic Food as Greek capital of gastronomy