Discovered double Earth interested astronomers

Discovered double Earth interested astronomers


Japanese astronomers analyzed data from a space telescope “Kepler” and found 15 new exoplanets. One of them, as scientists say, as two drops of water similar to our Earth. The only thing that distinguishes them is the size. Discovered planet, to get the index K2-155d, two times more of our own world. At the same time the planet is in the habitable zone of stars, and presumably has the oceans and the earth’s atmosphere, according to a paper published in the Astronomical Journal.

“Our calculations show that this planet must be the earth’s atmosphere and the same structure of the subsurface, however, confirm this until we can’t. We know little about planets orbiting red dwarfs, as these stars are much lower than the total number of planets, opened for stars similar to the Sun,” commented Teruyuki Hirano from the Technological Institute of Tokyo.

Thanks to the space telescope “Kepler” to date, astronomers have discovered nearly four thousand exoplanets very different category. Several dozen of these worlds are a potential “doubling” of the Earth or in the so-called “habitable zone” of their stars. Their discovery has led planetary scientists and astrobiologists to start developing methods that would allow to assess the suitability for life or try to find traces of it in their atmosphere.

In may 2013, the telescope is out of order, but experts have found a way to continue working in the framework of the so-called mission K2. Before breaking the “Kepler” was watched by only a small area of space, located at the junction of the constellations Cygnus and Lyra. After comeback telescope observes different parts of the sky, as NASA experts have to constantly rotate it so that the sunlight did not hit the lens. Despite this, in the framework of the K2 mission “Kepler” has already managed to discover many new planets. As for Hirano and his team, their work was focused on the analysis of the data collected by the telescope in the first three years after the “resurrection”.

The researchers note that they were interested in the heavenly bodies revolving around sun-like stars and red dwarfs — small, dim stars live a really long time compared to other types of luminaries and featuring a calm personality (though as it turned out, and they can spring surprises). Over the last two years astronomers discovered several star systems and exoplanets. Their number also includes Proxima b and seven small worlds of the star TRAPPIST-1. The new system brought astronomers to think that the first is a full analogue of the Earth will be opened from red dwarf, but not near the double Sun.

Hirano says that “Kepler” was originally designed to search for planets around brighter and larger bodies, complicating the search at the dim red dwarf stars, whose brightness is almost unchanged in a time when their companions are in the disk of a star, reducing its luminosity.

Integrating data collected “Kepler” and ground-based observatories, operating in the infrared and optical ranges, resolves the problem of observation. Scientists could now determine the decrease in brightness was caused by the planets, and what processes inside the stars themselves.

In the end, the Japanese astronomers found just 15 new celestial bodies, similar in size to enlarged copies of the Earth. They all rotate around their stars at a very short distance — a year on the surface lasts from one to 40 days. According to scientists, almost all of the open planets unlikely to support life. Temperature and climate they need more like Venus.

The only exception to the list is the system K2-155. It is located in the constellation Taurus and is about 200 light years from Earth. It has three “super-earths”, the farthest of which, K2-155d located in the Central part of the “habitable zones” and, according to planetary scientists, should be similar in its climate and hydrological conditions on the Ground.

Check all these assumptions, according to Hirano, it will be possible in the near future. At the end of the year NASA plans to launch into orbit a telescope TESS, which will be the successor to “Kepler”. The unit will be able to get the first accurate data on the composition and temperatures of these planets and check whether it is a full “big sister” of the Earth.