(Image source: University of Hertfordshire)


BY JASMINE BAILEY

A sun-like star has been discovered that may host five planets of its own. And one of those plants could possibly sustain life, as we know it.


The Daily Mirror reports—The planet is neither too hot nor too cold so it could sustain water and therefore could be habitable. It is one of five planets thought to be circling Tau Ceti, a star almost identical to our sun and one of our nearest comic neighbors. It is less than 12 light-years away.


Although this newly discovered planet may be able to support life, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has the same makeup as Earth. The lead author of the findings told Space.com...


"It is impossible to tell the composition, but I do not consider this particular planet to be very likely to have a rocky surface [like that of Earth]…It might be a 'water world,' but at the moment it's anybody's guess."


The five planet candidates have masses ranging from two to almost seven times that of Earth. The possibly habitable world completes one lap around Tau Ceti every 168 days compared to the 640 days for the most distantly orbiting world.


But according to the BBC, in order for scientist to pinpoint these newly discovered plants, they had to implement some new technology.


“… the planets were found not by spying them through a telescope but rather by measuring the subtle effects they have on their host stars' light. In the gravitational dance of a planet around a star, the planet does most of the moving. But the star too is tugged slightly to and fro as the planet orbits, and these subtle movements of the star show up as subtle shifts in the colour of the star's light we see from Earth.”


The five planets remain candidates at this point and will not become official discoveries until they're confirmed by further analysis or observations. However, the new study has been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

 

 

 

Five Planets Discovered, One Potentially Habitable

by Jasmine Bailey
0
Sources:Space.comBBC
Transcript
Dec 19, 2012

Five Planets Discovered, One Potentially Habitable

 

(Image source: University of Hertfordshire)


BY JASMINE BAILEY

A sun-like star has been discovered that may host five planets of its own. And one of those plants could possibly sustain life, as we know it.


The Daily Mirror reports—The planet is neither too hot nor too cold so it could sustain water and therefore could be habitable. It is one of five planets thought to be circling Tau Ceti, a star almost identical to our sun and one of our nearest comic neighbors. It is less than 12 light-years away.


Although this newly discovered planet may be able to support life, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has the same makeup as Earth. The lead author of the findings told Space.com...


"It is impossible to tell the composition, but I do not consider this particular planet to be very likely to have a rocky surface [like that of Earth]…It might be a 'water world,' but at the moment it's anybody's guess."


The five planet candidates have masses ranging from two to almost seven times that of Earth. The possibly habitable world completes one lap around Tau Ceti every 168 days compared to the 640 days for the most distantly orbiting world.


But according to the BBC, in order for scientist to pinpoint these newly discovered plants, they had to implement some new technology.


“… the planets were found not by spying them through a telescope but rather by measuring the subtle effects they have on their host stars' light. In the gravitational dance of a planet around a star, the planet does most of the moving. But the star too is tugged slightly to and fro as the planet orbits, and these subtle movements of the star show up as subtle shifts in the colour of the star's light we see from Earth.”


The five planets remain candidates at this point and will not become official discoveries until they're confirmed by further analysis or observations. However, the new study has been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

 

 

 

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