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Sunday, October 23, 2016

The evidence of two possible habitability of earth-like planets

An international team of scientists working with the space telescope “Hubble”, were able for the first time to explore the sights of two exoplanets similar to Earth in size, like her, are in the habitable zone of its star. As it turned out, their atmosphere is dominated by hydrogen and helium, which make up the shell of the giant planets. The information obtained suggests that the planets TRAPPIST-TRAPPIST 1b and-1c can exist all the necessary conditions for the emergence of life.

The artistic representation of one of these planets. The frame — youtube

Extrasolar planets in question are in the constellation of Aquarius is located, by cosmic standards, not far from the Earth, the distance to them is “just” 40 light years. The opportunity to explore their environment, scientists have obtained, using the event double transit extrasolar planets against the background stars, around which they turn. Observe each of the planets the scientists were a little more than half an hour (36 and 42 minutes, respectively), but this time was enough to collect a lot of information.

After analyzing the data, the researchers came to the conclusion that the planets atmosphere is unlikely to contain large amounts of hydrogen. In conjunction with the fact that both planets are in the so-called habitable zone of their stars, this means that on the surface of the two planets could set a “comfortable” living conditions.

The habitable zone is a conditional region around a particular star, which is a space where water can exist in the liquid state, not freezing and not evaporating. It is believed that the planets within this region is not too cold and not too hot for the formation and development of life (for this reason, in Western scientific literature this space is also called the “Goldilocks zone”, in honor of the heroine of fairy tales, known in Russia as “Masha and bears”). However, the excess hydrogen in the atmosphere would create on the planet a powerful greenhouse effect, which is suitable for life it would become unlikely.

The experts, who published their study in the journal Nature, plan to continue the observation of the planets and how soon will be able to obtain new information, to find out, whether contained in the atmosphere TRAPPIST-TRAPPIST 1b or-1c water and methane — one of the key for the existence of life substances as well as carbon dioxide and ozone.

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