New Study Finds Two 'Nearby' Rocky Planets Might be HabitableBy Anita Valencia, UniversityHerald Reporter
The new study reveals two planets possibly found to have atmospheres as 'comfortable' as the Earth's.
Previously, NASA has found more than 1,000 planets outside solar system with 500 of them are rocky planets. In the past few months, astronomers discovered three planets possible to be habitable world due to the presence of water and rocky surface.
The recent discovery also found that two exoplanets are 'rocky like Earth' and could have the ability to 'sustain life'. Both planets were caught in the Hubble space telescope as they passed nearly in tandem in front of their star, The Guardian wrote.
Habitable planet found?
Trappist-1, a cold red star where three Earth size planets are orbiting, is located 40 lightyears away from Earth. After analyzing the temperature and size, researchers suggest that the surface of two planets might potentially be habitable.
However, Julien de Wit from MIT, lead author of the study, reminds that just because the planets are known to be rocky, it does not mean they are more Earth like. It can have several possibilities.
The atmosphere in the rocky planets
According to the scientist, there might be a water world that our solar system does not have. Or, it can also have atmosphere with mainly oxygen as compound. The planets' atmosphere might consist of carbon dioxide layers like the one found in Venus. Or, it can also be like planet Earth where atmospheres consist of nitrogen and oxygen mixtures and heavy clouds too.
The research still needs help from more instruments to be sure about the atmospheres of planets in the Trappist system. Researchers already have planned to build six more telescopes to scan the skies which costs $400,000 each. They hope to increase scientific return as these tools will enable them to reveal more about the habitable planetary systems by analyzing what the atmospheres are like.