Astronomers have found a new Earth-like planet in our neighboring solar system, Proxima Centauri. We take a look at this and other discoveries from Earth- and space-based telescopes.
It is logical to assume that extraterrestrial life will be found on the Earth’s twin. That is, we should find an extrasolar planet, which by its characteristics resembles the Earth. Well, researchers have already discovered such a world, but does he have chances for habitability?
Kepler-438 b is brought to your attention! It is literally an Earth twin, 470 light years away from us. A planet can be found in the constellation Lyra near the star Kepler-438. It is a solitary red dwarf with a mass of 0.54 solar and a radius of 0.52 solar.
The planet Kepler-438 b is only 12% larger than Earth in size, and its index of resemblance to our planet is 0.9 (maximum – 1), putting it first among all known exoplanets in terms of similarity.
Furthermore, the exoplanet lies in the star’s habitable zone, so it receives enough light and heat to have liquid water on its surface. Spending around 35 days in one orbit. Some may argue that such close closeness to the star is harmful to life, yet red dwarfs have lower temperatures and luminosities than the Sun.
Kepler-438 b and Earth Comparison For a long time, scientists assumed that this planet could support Earth-like climatic conditions with water, rain, clouds, and air. Unfortunately, reality was more depressing. The fact is that Kepler-438 b closely resembles Earth, but you must also consider the activity of the local star.
In 2015, scientists discovered that the red dwarf Kepler-438 is a sort of flashing star. Furthermore, these flashes occur just once every few hundred days, and their power is ten times that of the sun indices (100 billion megatons of TNT). This implies that the planet is constantly bombarded with a high dose of radiation, resulting in the loss of the atmospheric layer and the annihilation of all prospects for the creation of life.
As a result, when hunting for life, you must consider not only the properties of the planet, but also the actions of the native star. Researchers predict that if the exoplanet Kepler-438 b can save a large magnetic field, it will be able to keep the atmosphere and primitive life forms in water.