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NASA scientists have discovered a potentially habitable planet

NASA scientists have discovered a potentially habitable planet

NASA scientists have discovered an Earth-like planet that could have the potential to support human life. as “daily MailReports indicate that the exoplanet is smaller than Earth and is located about 40 light-years away.

According to current research, the planet Gliese 12 b is said to be located within the habitable zone, a distance of one star where liquid water could exist on the surfaces of the planets it orbits.

Researchers analyze the requirements of life

According to the Daily Mail, astronomers now plan to analyze Gliese 12 b in more detail to determine whether an Earth-like atmosphere actually exists. This could reveal whether the exoplanet can maintain the right temperature to produce water on its surface, a prerequisite for life to survive.

The exoplanet Gliese 12 b has been classified as the “closest transiting temperate Earth-sized planet” and is on the roster for future study by NASA's $9.5 billion James Webb Space Telescope.

An international team of astronomers discovered the planet with the help of NASA's TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) satellite. Such discoveries are usually made using the “transit method”, where a planet passes in front of its star, causing its brightness to decrease.

The nature of the atmosphere is crucial

According to the researchers, Gliese 12 b's orbit is tighter than Earth's, which means it crosses its cool red dwarf star, Gliese 12, more often, completing one orbit in 12.8 days, according to the Daily Mail.

“Gliese 12 b represents one of the best targets to study whether Earth-sized planets orbiting cool stars can retain their atmospheres,” said Shishir Dholakia, a doctoral student at the Center for Astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia. This is a crucial step in expanding our understanding of the habitability of planets in our galaxy.

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However, habitable conditions on a planet depend on whether it has the same type of atmosphere as Earth. This would bring its temperature closer to the average 15°C on our planet.

Thousands of Earth-like planets have already been discovered

Gliese 12 b is not the only planet attracting researchers' attention. “We only know of a few temperate Earth-like planets that are close enough to us that they meet other criteria necessary for this type of study,” says Michael McElwain, a research astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and co-author of the study. Study “GLISA 12B”.

Scientists have already discovered about 5,000 of these planets, but they estimate that there are likely more than a trillion exoplanets in the Milky Way. Only a few of them have so far been classified as viable.

Last year, a research team from Japan proposed the existence of a hypothetical ninth planet in our solar system. Researchers base their guesses on the orbits of trans-Neptunian objects that orbit the Sun outside the orbit of the planet Neptune. Despite reasonable theoretical foundations, the “Kuiper Belt planet” has not yet been discovered.