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Getting Closer! New Earth-Like Planet with Surface Water in Habitable Zone Found

Astronomers have discovered a new super-Earth in the habitable zone, where liquid water and a stable atmosphere could reside, around the nearby star HD 40307. HD 40307 is an orange (K-type) main sequence star located approximately 42 light-years away in the constellation of Pictor (the Easel). It is calculated to be slightly less massive than the Sun with six known planets orbiting it. In 2008, three extrasolar planets were discovered in orbit around the star –found to be hot super-Earths because they orbit too close to the star to support life.

In 2012, three more planets were discovered orbiting HD 40307. One of them, HD 40307 g is a Super-Earth with orbital period about 200 days, and might be capable of supporting liquid water. The three planets were found by an international team, including Carnegie co-author Paul Butler, led by Mikko Tuomi of the University of Hertfordshire and Guillem Anglada-Escudé of the University of Göttingen who used newly developed software that is able to process the signals more thoroughly, re-analyzing spectra detected by the radial velocity method, using the HARPS spectrograph system through the European Southern Observatory.


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November 8, 2012 - Posted by | Presse |

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