Scientists may have made a huge step forward in finding life beyond our planet after discovering two “potentially habitable” planets.
Carnegie Institution for Science researchers discovered planets in orbit around the stars GJ180 and GJ229A, two of the stars closest to our sun.
The planets are called GJ180d and GJ229Ac and have at least 7.5 and 7.9 times the earth’s mass, according to the researchers.
Dr Fabo Feng, co-author of the study, explained: “GJ180d is the closest tempered super-Earth to us that is not neatly closed to its star, which probably increases its likelihood of being able to accommodate and sustain life. “.
The second planet, GJ229Ac, is the closest temperate super-Earth located in a system in which the host star has a brown dwarf companion.
Meanwhile, researchers have also discovered an extraordinary third planet: a “cold Neptune” nicknamed GJ 433 d.
Dr Feng added: “GJ 433 d is the closest, widest and coldest Neptune-like planet ever detected.”
The discovery comes a few days after NASA has discovered a new planet the size of an Earth that could harbor aliens.
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The planet, nicknamed TOI 700 d, was discovered by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), and is one of the few planets on Earth discovered so far in a star’s habitable zone.
Paul Hertz, director of the astrophysics division at NASA’s Washington headquarters, said: “TESS was designed and launched specifically to find Earth-sized planets in orbit around nearby stars. The planets around nearby stars are the easiest to follow with larger telescopes in space and on Earth.
“Discovering TOI 700 d is a key scientific discovery for TESS.”