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Super Earth discovered just 37 light-years away: could it support life?

Super Earth discovered just 37 light-years away: could it support life?

The super-Earth is called Ross 508b, and its mass is four times that of Earth. But a year lasts only 11 Earth days

“Are we alone in the universe?” It is a question we have always asked ourselves, even though humanity has not yet reached the point of giving Important responsesScientists are constantly searching for evidence that could indicate the existence of extraterrestrial life. What better way than to find other Earth-like planets? the program SubaruThe experiment, which began in 2007 using the Japanese Subaru telescope of the same name, allowed scientists to discover a potentially habitable super-Earth just 37 light-years away.

What we know about Ross 508b

Super Terra
Credit: Pixabay/urikyo33

communicate Ross 508bIt is a giant Earth with a mass about four times the mass of our planet. The interesting thing is that the ROS 508B only lasts one year 11 Earth days. This means that its orbit is not very large, also because it is located close to it To a red dwarfMuch smaller than our Sun, smaller also means that its gravitational field is not as strong as our star's. Therefore, Ross 508b orbits this red dwarf at a distance of only… 5 million kilometers (Mercury, for example, is 60 million kilometers from the sun.)

So the question spontaneously arises: How can a planet so close to its parent star be considered habitable? The answer lies in the planet's elliptical orbit, which does not allow it to always be close to the star. In other words, this celestial body He is constantly coming in and out From the so-called Habitable area. Among other things, scientists believe that a planet like Ross 508b might be able to do this Water retention On its surface. However, more studies and observations will be needed to understand whether water (and thus life) thrives in this new world.

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