ibusinesslines.com August 19, 2017

Hey neighbors! Nearest sun-like star hosts 4 Earth-sized planets

10 August 2017, 01:08 | Justin Tyler

University of Hertfordshire: Two Potentially Habitable Planets Detected Orbiting the Nearest Sun-Like Star

TRAPPIST 2.0? Scientists discover four Earth-sized planets orbiting Sun-like star

According to lead author Fabo Feng of the University of Hertfordshire, UK, the researchers are getting tantalizingly close to the 10-centimeter-per-second limit required for detecting Earth analogs. Two of those planets, tau Ceti g and h, are newly described, whereas tau Ceti e and f are the same ones described previously, but now with lower mass estimates (a minimum mass of 3.9 Earths for each).

An global team of scientists devised a new, more accurate and sensitive method of detecting planets by looking for "wobbles" in the star's movement caused by the minute gravitational tug of orbiting planets, while also better ruling out false positives coming from activity on the star itself.

These planets are detected by observing the wobbles in the movement of tau Ceti. The technique, they claim, is now almost precise enough to detect Earth-mass planets.

Dr Tuomi continued, 'We're slowly learning to tell the difference between wobbles caused by planets and those caused by stellar active surface.

"This enabled us to verify the existence of the two outer, potentially habitable, planets in the system".

Neither of Tau Ceti's "super-Earths" lie in the centre of its habitable zone.

Stars which are similar in size to our Sun are considered the best targets for finding habitable Earth-like planets.

If so, that means they're far less likely to be habitable - and there's also the issue of the super Earths hanging uncomfortably close to the outskirts of Tau Ceti's habitable zone - although it's premature to abandon all hope. The gravitational tug of nearby planets causes the parent star to wobble around the shared center of mass, and the resulting doppler shift in the starlight can be measured. Numerous other "potentially habitable" exoplanets discovered to date orbit dim red dwarf stars, which, for a variety of reasons, could prove hostile to life. Space.com noted that a large debris disk much like our own Kuiper Belt surrounds Tau Ceti, which in the absence of a large Jupiter-like planet to absorb projectiles, may be constantly bombarding its planets with comets and meteors.

"The planets in the habitable zone around nearby dwarf stars, like Proxima Centauri or TRAPPIST-1, are exposed to strong stellar winds that could strip their atmospheres", Loeb said.

Tau Ceti is located just 12 light-years away from you and me, and it's nearness and brightness has long made it a mainstay in sci-fi and video games - but now it looks like the star's potential to support alien life may not just be the stuff of fantasy.

The four planets are the closest Earth-like worlds yet discovered.

"The most important discovery in this work is that we have detected the weakest signal and are reaching the limit of detecting Earth analogs using radial velocity method", Feng said.

In the search for potentially habitable Earth-like exoplanets, those found orbiting Sun-like stars are good candidates.

Other News

Trending Now

New Venezuelan Assembly usurps Congress
Freddy Guevara, vice-president of the National Assembly , said Venezuela was on the precipice of a "hard dictatorship ". Despite nearly daily protests since early April, in which more than 120 people have died, he has refused to step down.

Trai seeks views on data security in telecom sector
Trai asked if there should be legitimate exceptions to the data protection requirements imposed on digital service providers. Trai said the availability of data has enhanced the business and efficiency potential of data analytics.

London double-decker bus crashes into shop
Police said paramedics had treated "a number of passengers" and the bus driver had been taken to a hospital in South London. Most of our media is owned by a handful of offshore billionaires with personal agendas.

Pot Increases Hypertension Death Risk
Other studies have also linked smoking marijuana to heart attack risk , stating it is a "rare trigger of myocardial infarction". Neither cumulative lifetime nor recent use of marijuana is associated with the incidence of [cardiovascular disease].

Explosive found in toilet of Akal Takht train in Amethi
The police have found a letter on the Akhal-Takht express in which it was stated that the death of Abu Dujana will be avenged. Police are investigating further and trying to identify the person who put the packet on the train.

Teenage migrants 'deliberately drowned' by smugglers in Yemen
Yemen is now going through a conflict and humanitarian crisis but the migrants go there to try to reach Europe or the Gulf states. The migrants usually make the unsafe journey across the Mediterranean Sea with smugglers, who sometimes overcrowd the boats.

Balushi selected as referee for FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut
The 2017 FIBA Asia Cup will take place from 8 to 20 August 2017, a week earlier from the initial scheduled date, in Lebanon . South Korea lost their opening game against the host Lebanon while Kazakhstan was defeated by the new comers New Zealand .