Astronomers find another Earth-size world relatively close to the Sun

Newly Discovered Exoplanet With Earth-Like Temperature Becomes Candidate In Search For Life

However, Ross 128 is moving toward us, and it will become the closest star to the sun in just 79,000 years, towing the planet Ross 128 b along with it.

The new planet was discovered by an worldwide team of astronomers using the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) at the La Silla Observatory in the high desert of Chile.

The star is classified as a red dwarf, which are some of the coolest, faintest - and most common - stars in the universe.

Ross 128 b is 20 times closer to its star than Earth is to the sun, hence its year lasts just 9.9 days.

The new world was discovered by a team using the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (Harps) instrument at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

A study has found that not only is the planet the same size as the earth, it also has a similar surface temperature that may be "the closest known comfortable abode for possible life". The next generation of large ground-based telescopes, including the European Extremely Large Telescope, should be able to resolve features such as oxygen in the atmosphere of these nearby exoplanets. "Signal" but later reported that his investigation - in which he got help from the nonprofit Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, better known as SETI - suggested they were "transmissions from one or more geostationary satellites".

Proxima B Planet, Orbiting Proxima Centauri, a Red Dwarf Star.

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Digitized Sky Survey 2 Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin This image shows the sky around the red dwarf star Ross 128 in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin).

She added: "This discovery is based on more than a decade of HARPS intensive monitoring together with state-of-the-art data reduction and analysis techniques". Scientists estimate that the newly discovered exoplanet likely has temperatures similar to Earth.

The only closer temperate planet is Proxima b, whose star, another red dwarf, bombards it with ultraviolet and X-ray radiation, possibly rendering it uninhabitable.

"Meanwhile, it is probably preferable to refer to Ross 128 b as a temperate planet rather than as a habitable zone planet", the authors wrote.

You may want to get used to the name Ross 128 b.

While researchers have expressed excitement over the discovery, the ESO notes: "Uncertainty remains as to whether the planet lies inside, outside, or on the cusp of the habitable zone, where liquid water may exist on a planet's surface". The astronomers detail their discovery in a new study, published Wednesday in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. Close inspection reveals that Ross 128 has a odd multiple appearance as this image was created from photographs taken over a more than forty year period by the Digitized Sky Survey 2, and the star, which is only 11 light-years from Earth, moved across the sky significantly during this time.

While Ross 128 b shares two very important characteristics with Earth, little else about it is familiar to us.

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