Super Near “Super Earth” Discovered

February 4th, 2012 at 5:49 am

The astronomy community has been really excited lately after a planet with potential Earth-like properties has been discovered. The best part about it is that the “super-Earth” orbits a relatively near star.

The planet, tagged as GJ 667Cc, is found going around a M-class dwarf star (GJ 667C) located 22 light years away and is believed to be around 4.5 times bigger than our Earth. This solid piece of heavenly body has a 28.15-day cycle, is calculated to receive about 90 percent of light as Earth, and most of it is infrared. In layman’s terms, the actual energy delivered is equal all over–therefore even the polar regions receive favorable conditions.

Meanwhile, the parent star is part of a triple-star system, whose makeup is slightly different from our Sun. The star, along with its two sisters, has fewer amounts of heavy elements like iron, carbon, and silicon.

The group of astronomers tasked to research on the planet has yet to determine the atmospheric composition of the planet to fully determine the presence and quality of water. A full report of their work will be published by the Astrophysical Journal Letters, which can be read here.

Source: Scientific American, via Engadget


Tags: ,