This Is How Astronomers Will Find New Planets in the Solar System

This Is How Astronomers Will Find New Planets in the Solar System

This indicates that the super Earth is moving fast, and much faster, even than Mercury.

Experts have been looking for planets around the star for about 20 years, but apart from a weak signal that has piqued their curiosity, they have been unable to find anything else.

Both planets are interior to, but close to the inner edge of, the liquid-water habitable zone.

The worldwide team - joined by Australian astronomers at the USQ, UNSW Sydney and Macquarie University- detected the system of planets orbiting the brightest red dwarf star in the night sky, Gliese 887. The study as been published in the journal Science based on decades of data.

The most visible red dwarf star from Earth is a red-hot orb known as Gliese 887.

For their study, the RedDots team of astronomers monitored the red dwarf using the HARPS spectrograph at the European Southern Observatory in Chile and used a technique known as "Doppler wobble".

"GJ 887 is an unusual host star, as it is relatively inactive, and the planetary system happens to be very close to our Sun".

They found that the star appeared to be orbited by planets that have orbits that would give them years of just 9.3 and 21.8 days on Earth. Researchers estimate that the temperatures on Gliese 887c would be about 70°C.

UNIVERSITY of Southern Queensland researchers were part of an worldwide team of astronomer who have detected a system of "super-Earth" planets orbiting a nearby red dwarf star. More active stars are prone to risky flares, which could easily destroy a planet's atmosphere. It's believed that these newfound planets are indeed in or at least near the habitable zone, making them very interesting to anyone who is searching for life outside of Earth.

The University of Gottingen affirmed Thursday that favorable conditions on Gliese 887 mean "the newly discovered planets may retain their atmospheres, or have thicker atmospheres than the Earth, and potentially host life". This third possible super-Earth is farther from the star than the other two, and takes 50 days to complete an orbit. GG 887 is less active than other red dwarfs, so the newly discovered worlds may be spared from harmful solar flares common to that type of star.

Another thing that the researchers found is that Gliese 887's brightness is quite constant, which would make future studies of the super-Earths' atmospheres much easier. But most of those planets orbit distant and faint stars. Using this approach, Sandra Jeffers and colleagues observed GJ 887 each night for three months.

"These planets will provide the best possibilities for more detailed studies, including the search for life outside our Solar System", Jeffers said in a news release.

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