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'Super-Earth' is closest planet yet that could support life

Jul 1 2014, 1:56pm CDT | by , in News | Other Stuff

'Super-Earth' is closest planet yet that could support life
photo credits: unsw
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A UNSW-led team of researchers has discovered a potentially habitable Earth-like planet that is only 16 light years away.

Just what exactly is out there in the never ending space has always been very intriguing for us and thanks to the amazing developments in science we keep on finding some very interesting news every now and then. According to the researchers from UNSW, there is another planet which is only 16 light years away and there are chances that there is life on this planet. In what appears to be the artist’s conception of this, we can see how close and how big this new planet is. But the word ‘life’ should not be mistaken to resemble something like we experience on this Earth because life on that planet is going to be nothing like on Earth.

Firstly, it is more than twice as large as the Earth itself and secondly it is so close to its sun that one year is going to last for only 16 days. Well, don’t think that anyone to set foot on this planet would catch fire after being so close to the sun because here the researchers are not referring to ‘our’ sun. The planet, named as Gliese 832c, has a red dwarf star for its sun so it would receive about the same amount of heat energy, so scientists granted it an Earth Similarity Index (ESI) rating of 0.81 -- the third best seen yet (Earth is 1.0).

Living there is not going to be free of some major challenges. Because of the larger size, there is going to be some extra gravity which is going to trap in a denser atmosphere which would ultimately result in a strong greenhouse effect and hellish, Venus-like climate.

source: unsw

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