Scientists have announced the discovery of two new Earth-like planets in our own galaxy that are so similar to ours that they have already fired into the top 20 contenders for future human colonization.
The planets circle around a neighboring star, Tegegarden, only 12.5 light-years in the constellation of Aries. Teegarden is an ultra-cool dwarf star 10 times lighter than our sun, eight billion years old, and was discovered in 2003.
"The two planets resemble the inner planets of our solar system" explains Matthias. Zechmeister, an astrophysicist at the University of Göttingen and lead author of a discovery study.
"They are just a little heavier than the Earth and are located in a so-called living area, where water can be present in liquid form.
Teegarden b has a 60% chance of a moderate surface environment suitable for habitation thanks to temperatures ranging from 0 to 50 degrees Celsius, with a probable average temperature of 28 degrees. Given its mass and minimal exposure to radiation, Teegarden b, which ends its orbit for just 4.9 Earth days, has scored the highest Earth-like Equation Index (ESI) ever. a temperature of -47 degrees Celsius, so potential colonists may want to bring a heavy jacket and some thick gloves. The exoplanet ends its orbit for 11.4 Earth days.
"Both planets have a minimum mass, close to one mass of Earth, and [sic] rocky, partly iron or water," the team said in their findings.
Do not pack your bags yet, as more research is needed to determine how viable the human habitation of these exoplanets might be. One of the main concerns is how quickly they walk around their rather dark star, which can make life there unhappy or impossible.
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