Nearby planet 'could host alien life' - and it's moving towards Earth

16 November, 2017, 01:40 | Author: Devin Moran
  • Nearby planet 'could host alien life' - and it's moving towards Earth

A new earth-like planet has been found, only 11 light years from our solar system.

The ESO reports that its High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) instrument was what discovered Ross 128 b. Those wobbles shift stars' spectrums, and by tracking these shifts, HARPS can infer planets are present. The star Ross 128 is part of the constellation of Virgo.

They're not ideal though as they can intermittently give off vast solar flares that will bathe everything in its path in deadly radiation. It's 20 times closer to its star than Earth is to the sun, but its star is smaller and dimmer than the sun, so the planet is likely within the right temperature range for liquid water to exist. Not only that, but this planet travels at an incredible speed, taking just 9.9 days to complete a full orbit. Unlike most exoplanet discoveries, Ross 128 b was not detected during a transit when the planet moves in front of the host star from our perspective, allowing astronomers to detect the reduction in light from the star. Unlike other close rocky planets, such as those orbiting Trappist-1 and Proxima Centauri, Ross 128 b is set apart because its host star doesn't regularly blast it with potentially sterilizing flares of radiation.

Remarkably this list will change.

Alongside the ESA, NASA's Kepler space telescope has also been hunting for exoplanets and since 2009 has found some 30 planets that fall within their host star's habitable zone.

Through data from HARPS, the team found that Ross 128b orbits 20 times closer than the Earth orbits the Sun.


Astronomers still don't know what the atmosphere of Ross 128 b is like, and therefore don't know if its surface temperature is comfortable enough to support life.

As for Ross 128 b, Bonfils told Futurism one forthcoming telescope in particular should prove useful for further study. Ross 128 on the other hand is thought to be relatively inactive, and so may not pose as great a threat to Ross 128 b as Proxima Centauri does to Proxima b.

In May, Abel Méndez, an associate professor of physics and astrobiology at the University of Puerto Rico, led a campaign at Arecibo Observatory to examine radio emissions coming from several nearby red dwarf stars.

In an email, Méndez said the discovery of an exoplanet around Ross 128 was a "fortunate result for our research", because his team is specifically interested in studying red dwarfs known to harbor exoplanets. In fact, most red dwarfs are prone to flaring, which is bad news in the search for alien life outside our Solar System. Both will be able to examine worlds like Ross 128 b in new detail, offering new insights into Earth-size exoplanets like never before.

And the star may indeed be targeted in the not-too-distant-future - by giant ground-based instruments such as the European Extremely Large Telescope, the Giant Magellan Telescope, and the Thirty Meter Telescope, all of which are scheduled to be up and running by the mid-2020s.

Recommended:

  • Duterte spokesman: Trump offered to return Philippine fugitive during bilateral talks

    Trump has already boasted of his close ties to Duterte, and the two men are expected to develop a fast affinity when they meet. This is their second meeting since Duterte's official visited to Moscow in May.
    You can now use Google Assistant as an intercom in your home

    You can now use Google Assistant as an intercom in your home

    Broadcast is now rolling out to Assistant-enabled devices in English language in the US, Australia, Canada and the UK. After that, it'll play on every other speaker that's linked to the same Google account.
    Italy Miss First World Cup In 60 Years As Sweden Qualify

    Italy Miss First World Cup In 60 Years As Sweden Qualify

    And now we have the catalogue of penalty appeals during this Italy-Sweden clash, all of which were overruled by Lahoz. I don't want to think it's the game of life but I'm convinced that, with the help of the fans, we will do it.
  • Jeff Long out as UA Athletic Director

    Jeff Long out as UA Athletic Director

    That's not good news for football coach Bret Bielema , who was hired by Long five years ago. Bielema said he has not talked to Long this week.
    23 children hurt in San Diego trampoline gym collapse

    23 children hurt in San Diego trampoline gym collapse

    The business closed for the night and investigators were working inside to determine the cause of the collapse, he said. Authorities said the injuries ranged from mild to moderate, also including a spine and a head injury.
    Hasbro reportedly offered to buy Mattel

    Hasbro reportedly offered to buy Mattel

    Mattel market value stands at about $5 billion this year, while Hasbro claims more than double that at $11 billion. Merger talks between Hasbro and Mattel are back on again, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal .
  • Rouhani vows speedy reconstruction as quake death toll climbs to 530

    Rouhani vows speedy reconstruction as quake death toll climbs to 530

    Angry residents have been heard blaming poor construction quality and government corruption for the heavy death toll. Geological Survey, and struck 14.4 miles below the surface, a somewhat shallow depth that can cause broader damage.
    United Nations  urges humane approach to Manus Island crisis

    United Nations urges humane approach to Manus Island crisis

    I think it's clear that we don't see what's happening there as acceptable, that's why the offer's there'. Ms Ardern said it was faster to organise the logistics of any deal with Australia.
    Andhra Pradesh: Boat capsizes in Krishna River, 14 dead

    Andhra Pradesh: Boat capsizes in Krishna River, 14 dead

    The tourism department of Andhra Pradesh had given permission for private agencies to operate boats to Bhavani Island regularly. Some of the survivors complained that the police that the boat was shaking right from moment it started from Bhavani Island.
  • Uber faces class-action lawsuit over sexual assault by drivers

    Uber faces class-action lawsuit over sexual assault by drivers

    Abdallah was arrested that month and charged with two counts of sexual battery, according to the lawsuit. One of the lawsuit's primary complaints is that Uber fails to do adequate background checks on drivers.
    Morocco and Tunisia qualify for 'Arab-flavoured' football World Cup

    Morocco and Tunisia qualify for 'Arab-flavoured' football World Cup

    Diving saves kept Youssef Msakni, Anice Badri and Ghilane Chaalani from scoring as Nashnush proved a one-man roadblock. Both teams needed a point to qualify for the global soccer phenomenon which will be hosted by Russian Federation .
    TPP deal advances without US

    TPP deal advances without US

    The official said the changes didn't come until after Canada informed the group it wasn't going to agree to the deal without them. They also changed the trade accord's name to the unwieldy Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.


Popular

Amazon Alexa finally arrives in Canada, Echo devices available for pre-order
Echo, Echo Plus , and Echo Dot are available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.ca/echo and will begin shipping December 5.

Lebanon's Hariri to fly to France in coming days, Elysee Palace says
France, Lebanon's onetime colonial ruler, has been trying to mediate in the crisis between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. His comments reflect the views of some politicians in Lebanon's divided Maronite community but not President Aoun.

Hulu plans to make a Hitman television series with 'John Wick' creator
The latest game, which was released episodically throughout 2016, was a critical success and sold over 7 million copies. He wrote the first movie and scripted John Wick: Chapter 3, due in theaters May 17, 2019.

Second Lib proposes same-sex marriage bill
An Australian Senator has released a rival same-sex marriage bill that could see a number of anti-discrimination laws overturned. Ultimately it was up to parliament to decide which bill was the "vehicle to facilitate" the parliamentary debate.

Will new blood pressure guidelines cost Americans?
Doctor Andrew Calvin of Mayo Clinic Health System says the new guidelines come with the commonality of high blood pressure today. Experts said the majority of Americans affected won't need medication but will need to make lifestyle changes.

$130 billion isn't enough for Broadcom to take over Qualcomm
But Qualcomm's beaten down stock price showed far less optimism among investors that a deal could be consummated quickly. Despite that, it seems that Broadcom's offer wasn't enough for Qualcomm's board of directors.

Xbox One X Sells 80000 In The First Week In The UK
Upgrade to a new Windows 10 PC with savings of up to $300 off: Save up to $300 this holiday when you purchase a new Windows 10 PC. Microsoft says you'll be able to save up to $100 on mixed reality headsets from Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung.

New Moore accuser alleges US Senate candidate restrained, groped her at 16
GOP leaders have been questioned over whether they maintain support for Moore despite the allegations, and on Monday, Sen. Walker was asked in the Sunday interview if Moore should bow out of the race in the light of the allegations.

Kim Kardashian's Baby Shower Was Fancier Than Your Dream Wedding
Khloe Kardashian's beau Tristan Thompson also surprised his ladylove with a birthday party at a popular hotspot in Hollywood. After news broke, Kardashian and West went to extreme lengths to ensure the woman was given around-the-clock security .

Arctic blast sets record lows in NY area
The arctic system will linger throughout the week and temperatures will gradually increase as it dissipates, according to Simpson. Saturday marked the second consecutive day of record-breaking cold for the Boston area.