Earth-Sized Planets Have Been Found In A Planetary System 160 Light Years From Earth

Earth-Sized Planets Have Been Found In A Planetary System 160 Light Years From Earth

The planetary system K2-239, governed by a red dwarf, has been identified using the data collected by the Kepler Space Telescope during its K2 mission. The researchers also found three Earth-sized planets within the K2-239 system, situated at 160 light years from Earth.

In the journey for finding more Earth-like planets, scientists from the “Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias” (IAC) and the University of Oviedo in Spain have gathered data collected by the Kepler telescope on a red dwarf star, dubbed as K2-239. They were then able to identify that three Earth-sized planets are orbiting this star.

According to the study’s report, the three exoplanets are quite similar to the Earth but only in terms of size as, on the other hand, they are not presenting appropriate conditions for life.

Scientists also identified the K2-240 system, besides the K2-239 planetary system which contains three Earth-sized planets

The system K2-239 planetary system is composed of three rocky planets, as already mentioned, all of which are of the same size with the Earth but more turbulent and not appropriate for life, as they are orbiting very close to their star.

These exoplanets orbit the red dwarf every 5, 8, and 10 days, respectively.

Besides the K2-239 system, the researchers also identified another planetary system, dubbed K2-240, also governed by a red dwarf, but which only contains two exoplanets, more specifically, two Super-Earth planets.

These two planets within K2-240 are two times bigger than the Earth.

On the other hand, red dwarfs are not suitable for allowing appropriate life conditions to develop as the red dwarfs’ temperatures are too high. More specifically, the atmospheric temperature of the K2-239 planetary system reaches 3,450 degrees, while the K2-240 system boasts an atmospheric temperature of 3,800 degrees.

Now, the researchers are waiting for the NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2020, to better investigate the three Earth-sized planets found in the K2-239 planetary system.


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