A new habitable planet has been discovered 40 light years away

The exoplanet known as Gliese 12 b has discovered an Earth-like planet 40 light-years away, slightly smaller than our planet and with an estimated surface temperature of 107 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the British Daily Mail website, Gliese 12 b lies directly within the habitable zone, which is the distance from the star where liquid water can exist on the surface of the planets it orbits.

Astronomers now plan to study Gliese 12 b to determine whether it has an Earth-like atmosphere, which would reveal whether the exoplanet can maintain the right temperature for water to form on its surface, a compound essential for life.

Gliese 12 b is classified as the closest, moderately Earth-sized planet to date, and is a candidate for future study by NASA’s $9.5 billion James Webb Space Telescope.

An international team of astronomers used NASA’s TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) satellite to narrow down the location of Gliese 12 b.

These discoveries are usually made using the “transit method,” when a planet crosses in front of its star, causing its brightness to decrease. Telescopes like James Webb’s can detect them.

The team found that Gliese 12 b’s orbit is much tighter than Earth’s, meaning that it passes its star, known as Gliese 12, frequently and completes one orbit in 12.8 days.

The exoplanet is only 7% of the distance from its dwarf star to Earth and the Sun, giving it 1.6 times the energy.

However, habitable conditions on Gliese 12 b depend on whether it has the same type of atmosphere as Earth, which is closer to the average temperature of 59 degrees Fahrenheit found on our planet.

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