TOKYO, NNC – Scientists have discovered 15 new planets orbiting small and cool star dubbed the red dwarf near our solar system.
Among the new planets, there is one potential for life that is "Super Earth". Scientists claim the Super Earth is expected to be inhabited for having oceans like on Earth.
The planet is known as K2-155d, measuring 1.6 times larger than Earth and is in a habitable zone, which is 200 light years away from Earth. The discovery was conducted by researchers led by Teruyuki Hirano from the Department of Earth Sciences and Planets Tokyo.
The researchers say every planet orbiting a star that is so close that one side will be constantly facing the star would make one side of the planet very hot and the other quite cold and dark.
These stars can be very useful for researchers who see how the shape and development of the planet, according to findings based on the second mission data of the NASA spacecraft, K2. Based on climate simulations, researchers say that the new Earth-like planet, K2-155d, could have liquid water on the surface.
Scientists are not exactly sure whether the planet is habitable until they can know accurately the size and temperature of the star. More research is needed to do this, researchers say.
"In our simulations, the atmosphere and the composition of the planet are assumed to be similar to Earth. Although we cannot travel there with today's technology, future generations of super-fast spacecraft can get to the planet," said Hirano, as quoted by the Daily Mail, Tuesday (3/13/2018).
Currently on the fastest spaceship, the New Horizons, which cover a distance of 32,000pm (51,500kmh) would take more than 4 million years to get to K2-155d.
The main result of the current study is that planets orbiting red dwarf may have characteristics very similar to planets orbiting solar type stars.
The red dwarf is a small and relatively cold star and is by far the most common type of star in the Milky Way.