Discovery of Super Earth in Space

Discovered by International Astronomers Using Powerful Ground Telescopes

Source:  NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

May Have "Earth Like" Conditions
Astronomers have discovered what they're calling a Super Earth 31 light years away from our solar system.  They say it is "potentially habitable".  The planet is named GJ 357d.  It is six times larger than the Earth and it orbits a sun that is much smaller than ours, every 55 days.  An international team of scientists discovered it using powerful ground telescopes and following up on data first relayed by NASA's planet hunting satellite TESS.  The astronomers believe that it could provide "Earth like conditions" for life.  If so it could answer the question that goes back a thousand years:  Is there life elsewhere in the Universe?

Looking for Signs of Life
In the next several years, highly advanced telescopes will be going on line that will be able to detect any signs of life on Super-Earth.  Two telescopes going live in 2021 and 2025 should show whether the planet is rocky and if it has any oceans.  If the planet's atmosphere is thick, it could support water on the surface and sustain life.  If there is no atmosphere, the average temperature would be 64 degrees below zero, making it more glacial than habitable and therefore not a place likely to sustain life as we know it.


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