Scientists find Earth-like planet 16 light years away
An international team of researchers discovered the ‘super-Earth’ planet, GJ 832 c, which takes 16 days to orbit its red-dwarf star, GJ 832, and has a mass at least five times that of Earth.
It receives about the same average stellar energy as Earth does, because red dwarfs shine more dimly than our Sun, and may have similar temperatures to our planet. These characteristics put it among the top three most Earth-like planets, according to the Earth Similarity Index developed by scientists at the University of Puerto Rica in Arecibo.
The research team, led by Dr Robert Wittenmyer in the University of New South Wales School of Physics, reported their finding of the planet in the Astrophysical Journal.
Team member and Head of UNSW’s Exoplanetary Science research group, Professor Chris Tinney, said that if the planet has a similar atmosphere to Earth it may be possible for life to survive, although seasonal shifts would be extreme.