Newstalk
Newstalk

13.04 15 Nov 2017


Share this article


A new earth-like planet has been found, only 11 light years from our solar system.

Scientists think 'Ross 128 b' - which is around the same size as Earth, with a surface temperature that could also be similar to our planet - may be capable of sustaining life.

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) says it is the second-closest temperate planet to Earth yet discovered - and it is also moving closer, meaning it will be closer than our existing 'closest neighbour' in 79,000 years.

It is also the closest planet to be discovered orbiting an inactive red dwarf star, which scientists say increases the potential for sustaining life.

A red dwarf is a particularly faint & cool star, and astronomers say it is easier to detect Earth-like planets orbiting around them than it is detecting ones that orbit around stars similar to our Sun.

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."

Once an exoplanet is discovered, scientists look to determine more details about the planet's make-up - in particular whether the presence of key life-supporting molecules such as oxygen are present.

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

Share this article


Read more about

News

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

Up next

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on