Earth Has a Hot New Neighbor: Discovery of a Nearby Exoplanet Suitable for Atmospheric Investigation

Artist’s impression of the floor of Gliese 486b. Credit: RenderArea

Using each transit and radial velocity knowledge, researchers found Gliese 486 b — a super-Earth exoplanet orbiting the close by pink dwarf star Gliese 486.

At solely 8.1 parsecs from Earth, Gliese 486 b is the third-closest transiting exoplanet identified — and the closest that transits a pink dwarf star with measured mass. This makes it a great candidate to seek for an environment and examine its habitability, in accordance with the examine’s authors.

“Gliese 486 b is not hot enough to be a lava world,” Trifon Trifonov and colleagues write, “but its temperature of ~700 Kelvin makes it suitable for emission spectroscopy and phase curve studies in search of an atmosphere.”

Gliese 486b Next to Its Star

Artistic impression of Super-Earth Gliese 486b and its close by pink dwarf star. Credit: RenderArea

Most exoplanets are found utilizing one in all two oblique strategies; transit photometry, which searches for slight variations in a star’s brightness as a planet passes in entrance of it, or Doppler radial velocity (RV), which measures the “wobbling” of stars as a result of gravitational pull of orbiting planets. While every methodology has been used to find quite a few extra-solar worlds, alone, they solely present restricted details about a planet’s bodily properties.

However, within the uncommon circumstances the place an exoplanet could be detected utilizing each methods, a terrific deal could be discovered, together with its mass, radius and density. By making use of each, Trifonov and colleagues current the detection of planet Gliese 486 b. Gliese 486 b is a terrestrial planet with an orbital interval of 1.467 days across the star Gliese 486 — a close-by pink dwarf roughly 26 light-years away.


This digital journey to Gliese 486b begins with its place within the evening sky. After specializing in the mother or father star Gliese 486b, the movie depicts the measurements. Finally, we fly to the exoplanet Gliese 486b and discover its doable floor, which in all probability resembles Venus, with a scorching and dry panorama interspersed with glowing lava flows. Credit: RenderArea

According to the authors, the new rocky planet is barely bigger than Earth (~1.three occasions Earth’s radius) but is greater than twice as huge (~2.81 Earth lots). Gliese 486 b additionally has an analogous density to Earth, suggesting it has an iron-sillicate composition like that of our residence planet. What’s extra, the planet has an equilibrium temperature of about 700 Kelvin, which is barely barely cooler than Venus and is appropriate for transmission and emission spectroscopy.

Combined with its proximity and the truth that it’s shiny and extremely seen utilizing telescopes anyplace on Earth, future research might present invaluable insights into the atmospheric properties and habitability of the distant planet.

For extra on this discovery:

Alien Super-Earth Planet Discovered Just 26 Light Years Away – Probably Has an Atmosphere

Earth Has a Hot New Neighbor – And It Could Change How We Look for Life in the Universe

Reference: “A nearby transiting rocky exoplanet that is suitable for atmospheric investigation” by T. Trifonov, J. A. Caballero, J. C. Morales, A. Seifahrt, I. Ribas, A. Reiners, J. L. Bean, R. Luque, H. Parviainen, E. Pallé, S. Stock, M. Zechmeister, P. J. Amado, G. Anglada-Escudé, M. Azzaro, T. Barclay, V. J. S. Béjar, P. Bluhm, N. Casasayas-Barris, C. Cifuentes, Okay. A. Collins, Okay. I. Collins, M. Cortés-Contreras, J. de Leon, S. Dreizler, C. D. Dressing, E. Esparza-Borges, N. Espinoza, M. Fausnaugh, A. Fukui, A. P. Hatzes, C. Hellier, Th. Henning, C. E. Henze, E. Herrero, S. V. Jeffers, J. M. Jenkins, E. L. N. Jensen, A. Kaminski, D. Kasper, D. Kossakowski, M. Kürster, M. Lafarga, D. W. Latham, A. W. Mann, Okay. Molaverdikhani, D. Montes, B. T. Montet, F. Murgas, N. Narita, M. Oshagh, V. M. Passegger, D. Pollacco, S. N. Quinn, A. Quirrenbach, G. R. Ricker, C. Rodríguez López, J. Sanz-Forcada, R. P. Schwarz, A. Schweitzer, S. Seager, A. Shporer, M. Stangret, J. Stürmer, T. G. Tan, P. Tenenbaum, J. D. Twicken, R. Vanderspek and J. N. Winn, 5 March 2021, Science.
DOI: 10.1126/science.abd7645

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