Two more Earths in the galaxy?
Scientists have discovered two new Earth-like planets around one of the closest stars within our galactic neighbourhood.
The planets are located only 12.5 light years away orbiting the Teegarden star — a red dwarf in the direction of the constellation of Aries. Its surface temperature is 2,700 degrees Celsius, and its mass is only one-tenth that of the Sun.
Even though it is so near, its faintness impeded its discovery until 2003. The observations showed that two planets are orbiting it, both of them similar to the planets in the inner part of the Solar System. They are just a little bigger than the Earth and are situated in the ‘habitable zone’ where water can exist as a liquid, according to the researchers.
Photometric campaigns on this star have been carried out with the Carlos Sanchez Telescope at the Teide Observatory in Spain, and with the network of telescopes of the Las Cumbres Observatory, among others.
The type of star to which the Teegarden star belongs consists of the smallest for which researchers can measure the masses of their planets with current technology.
When venturing into space, astronauts wear spacesuits which have to be warmed, cooled, pressurised and supplied with fresh air. This takes six hours for them to put on!