A team of international researchers claimed to have discovered two new Earth-like planets within the Milky Way near one of their closest neighbors, the star of Teegarden.
The scientists, led by the University of Gottingen (Germany), announced the discovery of the new exoplanets, Teegarden bec, and soon put him on the list of the top 20 candidates for future colonization.
The stars orbit the star of Teegarden, a nearby red dwarf located 12.5 light-years away in the constellation Aries, considered one of the smallest stars ever discovered. Discovered in 2003, this dwarf star of eight billion years is 10 times lighter than the Sun.
“The two planets resemble the inner planets of our Solar System,” explains Mathias Zechmeister, an astrophysicist at Gottingen University and the lead author of the discovery study.
“They are only slightly heavier than the Earth and are located in the so-called habitable zone, where water may be present in liquid form,” he added.
What are supposedly the characteristics of the new planets?
Thanks to temperatures ranging from 0 to 50 degrees Celsius, Teegarden b has a 60% chance of a tempered surface environment suitable for habitation.
Given its mass and minimal exposure to radiation, Teegarden b, which completes its orbit in just 4.9 Earth days, has achieved the highest Earth Similarity Index (ESI).
The Teegarden c only has a 3% chance of having a temperate surface environment with a calculated surface temperature of minus 47 degrees Celsius, which is similar to the temperatures on Mars. The exoplanet completes its orbit in 11.4 Earth days.
“Both planets have a minimum mass near a land mass, and … a rocky composition, partly of iron or water,” the team wrote in their findings.
— CSIC (@CSIC) June 18, 2019
Do not pack your bags yet, as further research is needed to determine how feasible the future human habitation of these exoplanets may be. A major concern is how quickly they orbit their star, which can make life miserable or impossible there.
Astronomers admit that there may be more planets in the same system and expect to be able to rely on giant telescopes planned for the next decade that will allow them to collect direct images of planets and stars.
All that said, FRN must note that the vast majority of these claims can only possibly be verified by other scientists working at an institutional level.