Scientists have discovered a new planet that could not only be habitable, but also allow you to live to be 3,158 years old. The discovery was made by a team of scientists led by Laetitia Delrez, an astrophysicist at the University of Liège, Belgium.
The average life expectancy on Earth is 73.5 years, and since LP 890-9c only takes 8.5 days to orbit its star, the years pass much faster, unlike the 365-day orbit. of our Earth around the sun. In theory, therefore, we could live up to 3,158 years on this planet.
100 light years away
With the help of NASA’s TESS space telescope, the researchers found the planet using the transit method. The telescope monitors a star’s brightness, looking for any dimming that might be caused by planets passing in front of the star.
The ULiège researchers used their ground-based SPECULOOS telescopes to confirm and characterize this planet, and also probe the system in depth in search of other planets that could have been “missed” by TESS.
A habitable planet?
Located 100 light-years from Earth, scientists have discovered that the star, LP 890-9 or TOI-4306, is half as hot as our sun and 6.5 times smaller. Two planets orbit the star, one of them the right distance apart to hold liquid water on the surface.
The inner planet called LP 890-9b orbits the star in 2.7 days, while the outer planet called LP 890-9c takes about 8.5 days to do the same. The inner planet is too hot to hold liquid water, but the outer planet is capable of it, making it the habitable planet.
Located in the constellation of Eridanus, the two planets that orbit the sun LP 890-9 are called “super-Earths” because they have a similar rock composition and are about 30-40% larger than our Earth.
Wells points out that scientists will need to conduct further research to confirm whether humans can indeed move on LP 890-9c.
Further research needed
“This second planet receives roughly the same amount of stellar radiation as our Earth receives from the Sun and could therefore contain liquid water on the surface,” said co-author Dr Robert Wells from the University of Bern. of the study.
“But it is important not to jump to conclusions. Being in the right place does not guarantee a palm beach. For example, our neighboring planet Venus, a pressure cooker rich in CO2 at almost 500°C, is also close to this so-called habitable zone around the Sun. »
“To determine whether this planet can actually hold surface liquid water or not, we need to learn more about it. This requires detailed observations, for example with the James Webb Space Telescope. »