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NASA has discovered an Earth-like exoplanet that has a temperature of 42 degrees Celsius and is potentially habitable.

NASA has discovered an Earth-like exoplanet that has a temperature of 42 degrees Celsius and is potentially habitable.

Illustration of the Earth compared to the different Gliese 12 b models. Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Male (Caltech-IPAC)
Christian Garavaglia

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the NASA She stated in a statement that she discovered A An Earth-like planet 40 light-years away from us Which could be promising candidates to host human life. The outer planet is called Gliss 12 B, It is slightly smaller than our planet and has The average surface temperature is estimated at 42 degrees Celsius, Assuming it has no atmosphere. Gliese 12 b lies just inside the habitable zone, that is, at a distance from a star where there might be liquid water on the surface of planets orbiting it..

Astronomers now plan to analyze Gliese 12 b to determine if it has an atmosphere similar to Earth’s, which could reveal whether the exoplanet can maintain the right temperature for water to form on its surface, a compound necessary to support life.

Gliese 12 b is classified as “the closest transiting, temperate Earth-sized planet to date” and is a planet A candidate for future exploration by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

The temperature of Gliese 12 b ranges between the temperature of Earth and that of Venus

An international team of astronomers used a transit satellite to survey exoplanets (he-goat) from NASA to locate Gliese 12 b. The team found it Gliese 12 b has a much narrower orbit than Earth’s, meaning it passes by its cool red dwarf star, called Gliese 12, more often. It completes one cycle every 12.8 days.

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“The atmosphere traps heat, and can change the effective surface temperature dramatically, depending on the type,” Dholakia explained. “We quote The “equilibrium temperature” of a planet, which is what it would be if it had no atmosphere“.

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The team compared Gliese 12 b to Venus, and reported that it is about the same size and receives slightly less energy from its star, about 85%. Since Gliese 12 b’s temperature lies between that of Earth and Venus, its atmosphere can teach us a lot about the habitability paths that planets follow as they evolve.“, explained Larissa Palethorpe, a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh and University College London.

Gliese 12b Earth
A satellite image of the thin-atmospheric version of Gliese 12 b. Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Male (Caltech-IPAC)

“Gliese 12 b represents one of the best targets for studying whether Earth-sized planets orbiting cool stars can maintain their atmospheres,” “A crucial step in advancing our understanding of the habitability of planets in our galaxy.”said Shishir Dholakia, a doctoral candidate at the NASA Center for Astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia.

The distance between the exoplanet and its dwarf star is only 7% of the distance between Earth and the Sun, giving it 1.6 times more energy. but, The conditions for the suitability of planet Gliese 12 b depend on whether it has the same type of atmosphere as EarthWhich brings its temperature closer to our planet’s average of 15 degrees Celsius.

Gliese 12 shows no signs of storms

An important factor in understanding whether an exoplanet is habitable is looking at the level of storms emanating from its star. Normally, red dwarf stars are magnetically active, so they emit frequent flares of X-rays that can destroy the atmosphere. However, researchers hope that this does not happen, since then The Gliese 12 star has shown no signs of storms or extreme behavior. “To better understand the diversity of atmospheres and evolutionary outcomes of these exoplanets, we need more examples like Gliese 12 b,” said Michael McElwain, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and co-author of the Gliese 12 b study.

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References for news:

https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/14581