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Earth-Like Planets Orbiting Dwarf Star Key To Life Outside Earth?

First Posted: May 05, 2016 07:00 AM EDT
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Earth-like planets were found orbiting a nearby star, which, according to scientists may host life. This new discovery, published in the journal Nature indicates that the planet with a distance of 40 light years, were the first to be ever discovered revolving around a dwarf star.

The earth-like planets' orbit causes the dwarf star to throw out the dim light that may be sufficient in sustaining life, according to the study. A physics professor at the University of California, San Diego, Adam Burgasser, said that the types of planets they have discovered are exciting in terms of searching for life outside the Earth.

These earth-like planets were discovered through observing the distant star for more than 62 days, which eventually led to the study team's discovery of the three fragmentary dips in brightness which showed the presence of the three planets, continuously casting shadows back to Earth. A follow up on the findings showed that the planets are possibly near the similar size as the Earth. Two of the three planets have been found orbiting the star at the span of 1.5 days and 2.4 days, while the third planet takes 4.5 to 73 days to orbit its sun, according to  CNN.

The study team has also established that the three planets have the same size as the Earth and possibly rocky. In addition to this, the two inner planets have two to four times the amount of the Earth's  solar energy because their star is more vague than the Sun. Which means both planets are found in the habitable zone of the system, or an orbital ring of distances where the water exists and the temperature could support life.

Earth-like planets are most likely to have habitable zones on their exterior, according to the study, though the information like the atmosphere and their clouds make it difficult to calculate if the exterior state is suitable for life, Universe Today reported.

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