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Closest temperate world orbiting quiet star discovered

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:34 am

A team working with ESO's High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) at the La Silla Observatory in Chile has found that the red dwarf star Ross 128 is orbited by a low-mass exoplanet every 9.9 days. This Earth-sized world is expected to be temperate, with a surface temperature that may also be close to that of the Earth. Ross 128 is the "quietest" nearby star to host such a temperate exoplanet.

This discovery is based on more than a decade of HARPS intensive monitoring together with state-of-the-art data reduction and analysis techniques. Only HARPS has demonstrated such a precision and it remains the best planet hunter of its kind, 15 years after it began operations," explains Nicola Astudillo-Defru (Geneva Observatory - University of Geneva, Switzerland), who co-authored the discovery paper.

Red dwarfs are some of the coolest, faintest—and most common—stars in the Universe. This makes them very good targets in the search for exoplanets and so they are increasingly being studied. In fact, lead author Xavier Bonfils (Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble - Université Grenoble-Alpes/CNRS, Grenoble, France), named their HARPS programme The shortcut to happiness, as it is easier to detect small cool siblings of Earth around these stars, than around stars more similar to the Sun.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:35 am

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Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

This artist's impression shows the temperate planet Ross 128 b, with its red dwarf parent star in the background. This planet, which lies only 11 light-years from Earth, was found by a team using ESO's unique planet-hunting HARPS instrument. The new world is now the second-closest temperate planet to be detected after Proxima b. It is also the closest planet to be discovered orbiting an inactive red dwarf star, which may increase the likelihood that this planet could potentially sustain life. Ross 128 b will be a prime target for ESO's Extremely Large Telescope, which will be able to search for biomarkers in the planet's atmosphere

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:37 am



A temperate planet has been discovered only 11 light-years from Earth by a team using ESO’s unique planet-hunting HARPS instrument. The new world has the designation Ross 128 b and is now the second-closest temperate planet to be detected after Proxima b.

 
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