Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Two Super-Earths Located Just 111 Light-Years From Earth

Two Super-Earths Located Just 111 Light-Years From Earth

"And so we sort of know that, for this planet, it's got about the right temperature that it could have liquid surface water".

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Texas, Scarborough, and University of Montreal, Canada, using data from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), has found K2-18b orbiting at a habitable distance from its star, making the presence of water on the planet.

A recently discovered planet named Super Earth unveiling that it could hold numerous critical components of alien life.

Researchers have found that K2-18b could be a scaled-up version of Earth. K2-18b, scientists say, could be in an excellent location for alien life to emerge-having ideal conditions for surface water, a fundamental ingredient for life, to exist.

The researchers discovered that K2-18b, which is now being called super-Earth, and its neighbor planet, both orbit a red dwarf star, named K2-18, which is situated in the constellation Leo, around 111 light years away from Earth, reported UdeMNouvelles - Université de Montréal. At that time they noticed that the super-Earth was orbiting the dwarf-star within its habitable zone.

Ryan Cloutier, of the University of Montreal, said: "Being able to measure the mass and density of K2-18b was tremendous, but to discover a new exoplanet was lucky and equally exciting". "And from how far away it is from the star, it gives you an idea of how hot the surface of this planet might be", Cloutier told CTV News Channel on Tuesday.

Researchers have discovered that a little-known exoplanet called K2-18b, could in fact be a "scaled up" version of Earth.

Cloutier shares that enthusiasm with all the carefully measured passion any scientist worth his weight in life-changing discoveries can muster. Now the researchers have exhausted the data set collected by the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS). But it is by studying its mass recently that an worldwide team of scientists has learned that this planet was not only potentially habitable, but that it had also a neighbour. "Once all the boxes were checked it sunk in that, wow, this actually is a planet", said Ryan Cloutier, who had the target of finding at least one new exoplanet during the course of his Ph.D. HARPS allows for measurements of radial velocities of stars, which can be affected by the presence of nearby planets, to be taken with the highest accuracy now available.

"When we first threw the data on the table we were trying to figure out what it was", Cloutier said.

Engineers inspect the James Webb Space Telescope after cryogenic testing in Houston, November 19, 2017. It turns out that K2-18b is either a rocky planet with a gaseous atmosphere (just like Earth's) or a vast ocean planet with a thick layer of ice on top of it.

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