#Researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered an exoplanet that could potentially support living conditions. This Super-Earth which lies 39 light years away from us is being named LHS 1140b, and it is now considered as a possible contender of life existence just like Proxima B and the seven TRAPPIST-1. Space scientists believe that this planet will be one of the hottest observation points for a closer look by the James Webb Space Telescope which NASA will launch in 2018. The study report is now available in the 'Nature' Journal.

LHS 1140b: The Big Brother of Earth

The newly discovered exoplanet can be considered as the big brother of our native planet, Earth.

Advertisements
Advertisements

The planet is orbiting a small M-star every 24 days, and it is 1.4 times larger and 6.6 times massive than Earth. Researchers believe that this exoplanet is rocky in nature, and it might be having an atmosphere which has the capability to support life. The estimated age of LHS 1140b is five billion years.

According to astrophysicists and space scientists, this planet lies in the sweet spot of its system. It lies in the most habitable zone which means that it could support liquid water, and sometimes there may be existing life forms on this planet.

Jason Dittman, the lead author of the study, told that LHS 1140b has all the features to support life, and in the future, this rocky giant may turn out to be the hottest destination for life search.

Advertisements

He also added that proper study should be conducted on these planets to know whether they can maintain a good magnetic field which is considered as a crucial element for habitability.

The most happening journey in finding this Super Earth

Jason Dittman started his journey to find the #Super Earth in 2015, as he went over some observation data on two red stars collected by robotically observatories named 'The MEarth project' where he found something very promising. The signals coming out from LHS 1140b resembled a significant dip which is considered as a primary characteristic of exoplanets.

With the help of HARP's team in the European Southern Observatory, he confirmed that the discovered body is an exoplanet, and they also analyzed its mass and density. With its sophisticated equipment, the researchers also concluded that the planet is rocky in nature. Dittman, in a recently issued statement, said that the planet is majorly composed of Iron and Silicate which is very common on Earth too.