The search for a sustainable planet other than the earth has always been one of NASA's main objectives which could open up a world of possibilities in extra-terrestrial colonisation. What might seem like science fictitious rambling is actually turning into a reality. For the first time ever an atmosphere has been detected around an earth like planet that has the potential to support water.

About GJ 1132b

The discovery has the possibility of shining new lights on possible extraterrestrial life outside the solar system. #Gj 1132B, is 39 light years away and 1.4 times the size of our own planet. Dr John Southworth from Keele University and his team made the discovery.

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The team had created simulations to properly understand the composition of the planet's atmosphere and centred on finding water and methane. The results were quite astounding sparking hopes of heavy water content.

Hotter and a bit larger than earth, analysis has shown that its atmosphere has a higher steam concentration. The European Southern Observatory's GROUND imager telescope in Chile further confirmed that its atmosphere has been enduring stringent conditions for over a billion years.

The Gliese discovery has sparked a whole new range of discussions on the possibility of numerous very low mass stars and planets which could host the necessary conditions for sustaining life.

Current biological methods for detecting life on other planets involves analysing the chemical imbalances caused in their atmospheres by living organisms.

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Such atmospheric discoveries were only previously possible on gas giants like Jupiter.

The closest place called home

Exoplanets have been given the name of indexes based on their similarities to earth and their distances from it. So far millions of such exoplanets have been discovered but none like Gliese 1132 b which orbits its star every 1.6 days at a distance of 1.4 million miles.

The planet receives nineteen times more radiation than earth and its exosphere is estimated to be at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It is possible that one side of the planet is cooler, because of the phenomenon of tidal inertia due to its proximity to its star; but it still manages to transfer heat to its far side.

GJ 1132b will be the subject of Hubble Space Telescope's latest study and ESO’s Very Large Telescope which will be conducted next year. GJ 1132B was first discovered last year in November and became a center-point of NASA's research due to its high similarity to earth's sister planet Venus.