earth New potentially habitable planet discovered

Astronomers have discovered a new planet which they say could support life, thanks to a potentially similar climate to that seen on Earth.

Astronomers have discovered a new planet which they say could support life, thanks to a potentially similar climate to that seen on Earth.

 
The team, which combined scientists from the University of Goettingen in Germany and the University of  Hertfordshire in the UK, identified the planet orbiting its star at roughly the same distance as Earth does, which is within the “Goldilocks Zone” of neither too hot nor too cold.
 
The planet, dubbed HD 40307g after its star HD 40307, is 44 light years away and has a mass that is seven times that of Earth, which might come in handy if our burgeoning population ever needs to evacuate the planet in future.
 
In addition to orbiting its star at a distance similar to our planet, the new planet also rotates on its own axis, which gives it a night and day cycle, further exciting astronomers about life on the planet. Night and day is pivotal, as otherwise one half of the planet would be plunged into total darkness the entire year around.
 
earth New potentially habitable planet discovered
Earth – could HD 40307g look like this?
 
HD 40307g, which we might one day call Earth 2, was discovered using the HARPS spectrograph, which can pick up changes in light colour of the star as it is affected by the gravitational pull of its orbiting planets. A new technique helped filter out the star's own signals, making it easier to see the surrounding planets.
 
Previously the scientists were only able to discover three planets, but the newly-employed technique uncovered three additional planets, including this potentially life-supporting one which is the closest of habitable planets to Earth that ticks all the boxes for an Earth-like environment.
 
Of course, until we develop technology to travel such vast distances of space safely, it will likely be a long time before we can confirm the scientists' suspicions.
 
Source: RTE