Thursday, April 6, 2017

Scientists Say We Can Breath On Another Planet

Their observations suggest that the "super-Earth" is cloaked in a thick layer of gasses that are either water or methane or a mixture of both. They have studied a world known as GJ 1132b, which is 1.4-times the size of our planet and lies 39 light years away.

Discovering an atmosphere, and characterising it, is an important step forward in the hunt for life beyond our Solar System. Using a telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile, the researchers were able to study the planet by watching how it blocked some of the light of its host star as it passed in front of it.

But different molecules in a planet's atmosphere - if it has one - absorb light in different ways, allowing scientists to look for their chemical signatures when the world transits its star. The researchers say while it is unlikely that any life-forms could survive on this world, the discovery of an atmosphere is encouraging in the hunt for extraterrestrial life.

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