Home XNews Planets Exoplanet next door looks a lot like Earth

Exoplanet next door looks a lot like Earth

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Exoplanet next door looks a lot like Earth
Artistic representation of the potentially habitable Super-Earth Gliese 832c Image credit: Efrain Morales Rivera / Astronomical Society of the Caribbean / PHL / UPR Arecibo.

Have you ever wanted to go away?  I mean, really far away.  As in 16 light years away from where you currently live?  Then you might be happy to hear that a group of Australian astronomers have discovered a new planet that seems like it might be very similar to Earth.  Its called Gliese 832C, but it has a nickname:

Earth II.

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Gliese 832C is one of two planets that orbit a red dwarf star called Gliese 832 in the Grus constellation.  The planet sits a lot closer to its sun that our own Earth does, but the star Gliese 832 puts out a good deal less energy than our own sun — consider it an interstellar trade-off.  The thickness of Gliese 832C’s atmosphere will determine exactly what the surface temperatures turn out to be, but Astronomers have already figured out what the seasons are like on the planet:

Gliese 832C completes a full orbit in just over 35 days.

If you even get sick of winter on this exoplanet, just stick it out, summer will be there in a matter of weeks.

Gliese 832c Orbital Analysis
Orbital analysis of Gliese 832c. Image credit: PHL / UPR Arecibo

Astronomers are most excited by Gliese’s proximity to Earth, since at 16.1 light years, it’s far closer than other potentially habitable planets (like Kepler 186f, which is about 500 light years away). The only problem is that even though it’s our next door neighbour in galactic terms, using our current lousy space travel technology it still would take about 80,000 years to get there. Time to get started working on that warp drive right? Engage!

[Cornell University Library, via Sci-News.com]

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