Atmosphere was found around super-earth

Atmosphere was found around super-earth

Scientists have found the atmosphere around the GJ 1132b super-Earth. For the first time, scientists managed to find an atmosphere around a planet like ours. This moves us one step closer to finding life on exoplanets. A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy used the ESO / MPG 2.2-meter telescope (Chile) to take down the planet and measure a slight decrease in brightness as it passed in front of its star.

The strategy for finding life on another planet includes determining the chemical composition of the atmosphere to detect chemical imbalances, which are explained by the presence of living organisms. In the terrestrial case - the presence of a large amount of oxygen.

But we are still far from such a discovery, because before that all observations were made of the gas giants. Now there is a chance to explore a planet more similar to ours.

GJ 1132b rotates around a red dwarf GJ 1132 in the southern constellation Vela (separated by 39 light years from us). To observe the planet in 7 different wavelength ranges, the team of John Southworth had to use a thermal imager GROND. GJ 1132b is a transit planet passing in front of a star every 1.6 days, blocking a part of its glow. In size 1.4 times larger than the earth. One of the wavelengths of infrared radiation was longer, which hints at the presence of the atmosphere. Computer models have shown that the object has water and methane. But here it is impossible to rely on blind optimism, because while there is no certainty that this planet resembles the earth. It is possible that this is a water world with an atmosphere of hot steam.

Do not forget that it revolves around the M-dwarf, which have a high level of activity. In some cases, this leads to deflation of the atmosphere from nearby planets. But if she managed to preserve the atmosphere for billions of years, it gives hope that the universe is full of similar objects with the potential for life.

Comments (0)