Scientists Discovered Two New Earth-like Planets Near Teegarden's Star.

Searching for life in the universe is without doubt very important topic. Exploring our cosmic neighborhood is even more significant. Halfway through 2019 we are surprised with the discovery that enlarges our knowledge on both topics: Earth like planets around Teegarden's star.

International team led by University of Gottingen discovered two Earth-like planets only 12.5 light years from Earth. "Teegarden's star" that they orbit, is one of the smallest known to mankind, almost ten times lighter than Sun. It was discovered in 2003 and was observed for the past three years. The results sound quite promising "The two planets resemble the inner planets of our solar system," says Mathias Zechmeister of the Institute for Astrophysics at the University of Göttingen, lead author of the project. The two planets may be a part of larger solar system.

Teegarden's star
Teegarden's star and its two planets, with the Solar System in background.

The Teegarden's star is an M dwarf. This means that the surface temperature of this star is just 2,700 K which is less than half the surface temperature of Sun, a G type star. Such stars have a very long life. They can live up to more than 100 billion years as they fuse their nuclear fuel slowly.

Also Read: The Spectral Classification of Stars

The study was a part of the Carmenes project, which was specifically designed to search for planets around the lightest stars. However, planetary systems around similar stars are known, but they have always been detected using the "transit method" -- the planets have to pass visibly in front of the star and darken it for a while. Such transits have not yet been found for the new planets. But the Teegarden's system is located at a special place in the sky: from the star you can see the planets of the solar system passing in front of the Sun.

Research Report: "The CARMENES Search for Exoplanets Around M Dwarfs - Two Temperate Earth-Mass Planet Candidates Around Teegarden's Star"

Also Read: Basics of Astrophysics Series

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