ESO Science Release | 2017 Apr 19
Transiting rocky super-Earth found in habitable zone of quiet red dwarf star
[img3="Credit: ESO/SpaceEngine.org"]https://cdn.eso.org/images/screen/eso1712a.jpg[/img3][hr][/hr]An exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth may be the new holder of the title “best place to look for signs of life beyond the Solar System”. Using ESO’s HARPS instrument at La Silla, and other telescopes around the world, an international team of astronomers discovered a “super-Earth” orbiting in the habitable zone around the faint star LHS 1140. This world is a little larger and much more massive than the Earth and has likely retained most of its atmosphere. This, along with the fact that it passes in front of its parent star as it orbits, makes it one of the most exciting future targets for atmospheric studies. ...
The newly discovered super-Earth LHS 1140b orbits in the habitable zone around a faint red dwarf star, named LHS 1140, in the constellation of Cetus (The Sea Monster). Red dwarfs are much smaller and cooler than the Sun and, although LHS 1140b is ten times closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun, it only receives about half as much sunlight from its star as the Earth and lies in the middle of the habitable zone. The orbit is seen almost edge-on from Earth and as the exoplanet passes in front of the star once per orbit it blocks a little of its light every 25 days. ...
Potentially Habitable Super-Earth is a Prime Target for Atmospheric Study
Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | 2017 Apr 19
A Temperate Rocky Super-Earth Transiting a Nearby Cool Star - Jason A. Dittmann et al
- Nature 544(7650):333 (20 Apr 2017) DOI: 10.1038/nature22055