New Planet Similar to Earth with Habitat Zone Found

Rotation with the sun at a distance equal to the Earth’s rotation on the solar system.

An expert team of Anglo-German astronomers have discovered a new planet orbiting a nearby sun in the same distance as the Earth orbits the sun so that it has a climate that can support life.

The team actually discovered three new planets orbiting stars within 44 light-years, but only one of them had so-called Goldilocks zone, surrounding a sun belt where the temperature is not too hot and not too cold for liquid to exist.

“The star HD 40307 is a star that is quite perfect parents, so there is no reason why a planet can not have a climate like the earth,” says Guillem Angla-Escude from the University of Goettingen, Germany, who led the research with Mikko Tuomi at the University of Hertfordshire in England.

The planet has a mass at least seven times that of Earth, but orbit has the same distance from the sun as Earth’s distance to the sun, this means the planet has the same amount of energy as an acceptable earth.

More than 800 planets have been discovered outside our solar system since it was first detected in the early 1990s, but only few of them have all habitable zone.

Even more rare planets rotating in the zone, as happened on this planet, to create conditions at night and during the day, which adds to the likelihood of having an environment like Earth. A non-rotating planet will have a dark side constantly.

“The planet is most like Earth than the habitable zone,” said astronomer Hugh Jones of the University of Hertfordshire.

This planet, called HD 40307g, is part of a system previously thought to have only three planets, all are in orbits too close to its star to be able to support the presence of liquids.

Astronomers are getting this discovery, reveals in a research article in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, by examining data from HARPS spectrograph, attached to the telescope at the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, the Atacama desert in Chile.

Equipment HARPS is able to take even the slightest change in the color of light emitted from a host star when the star is moving under the gravitational influence of planets berorbit.

The team also used a novel technique to filter the signal generated host star itself. “This significantly increases our sensitivity and enable us to reveal three planets around the star,” says Mikko Tuomi.