Astronomers Have Found the Closest Earth-Like Planet to Date

Astronomers Have Found the Closest Earth-Like Planet to Date

It is being reported that astronomers have found the closest Earth-like planet to date. The new planet, which has been named Gliese 832-c, is the most similar of all planets that have been discovered to the Earth. It was found by astronomers who work at the University of South Wales. The planet is about five times the size of Earth and is 16 light years away. It has an orbital period of 36 days.

When measuring distance Gliese 832-c is about 93,852,000,000,000 miles away. That means in space terminology that it is actually very close. One light year is 5,865,696,000,000 miles. When compared to Earth in size, Gliese 832c is about five times bigger in mass and astrophysicists state that it orbits a red giant star that is just far enough away from it to be able to reasonably support life. Back in 2009, Gliese 832-b, which is a cold planet very much like Jupiter was found to be going around the same huge red star.

It is believed that Gliese 832-c receives about the same amount of stellar energy as the Sun provides for the Earth. Chris Tinney, who is a professor at the University of South Wales, explained that by having a large outer giant planet and an internal possibly rocky sphere, this planetary system could be considered a small version of Earth’s Solar System.

Gliese 832-c has temperatures similar to Earth and so scientists think that the planet has seasonal shifts but that they are drastic. Astronomer Abel Mendez explained that Gliese 832-c seems to contain the proper temperature for life but may not be the correct size. He stated that it might be either a water world or gas planet instead of a rocky world but they simply are not sure at the present time. He added that the orbital peculiarity of Gliese 832-c might create huge seasonal temperature changes but not large enough to aid in the development of life.  He also said that the planet may have a thick CO2 atmosphere and that would make Gliese 832-c way too warm for life anyhow.

Regardless, astronomers are spellbound by the planet. Scientist Robert Wittenmeyer declared that he could figure out Gliese 832-c’s atmosphere if it was to transit across its personal star, but it never does that, so researchers can only speculate.

With these differences, a person has to wonder how the planet still happens to fall inside the Goldilocks Zone, that galactic space situation where if conditions are neither too hot nor too cold there is a chance of life.  Gliese is considered a Goldilocks planet due to the dwarf star the planet orbits. It is only about half the mass of the Sun and consequently Gliese 832-c only get about the same amount of stellar energy.

Astronomers believe they have found the closest Earth-Like planet yet. The new planet, which has been named Gliese 832-c, is the most similar of all planets that have been discovered to the Earth. It was found by astrophysicists who work at the University of South Wales. The planet is about five times the size of Earth and is 16 light years away.

By Kimberly Ruble

Sources:

The University Herald

The Independent

International Business Times

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