Science & Tech

Scientists discover 85 new planets in the habitable zone which could contain life

Scientists discover 85 new planets in the habitable zone which could contain life
What If You Spent a Day on Every Planet in Our Solar …
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The search for life out there in the universe has taken an interesting turn, after astronomers found 85 planets that could potentially be home to alien life.

They’re of particular interest to the scientists who discovered them because they’re the right temperature to sustain life.

Nasa’s Transitioning Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, found the exoplanets which differ from the usual exoplanets observed by the satellite in a number of different respects.

Firstly, they take between 20 and 700 days to orbit their host stars, whereas most exoplanets spotted by TESS have orbital periods of 3-10 days. Also, the planets which are similar in size to Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune, are far enough away from their host stars in the “habitable zone” to be cool enough to theoretically support life.

The research was led by Faith Hawthorn, PhD researcher at the University of Warwick, and was published on Wednesday in the Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS).

Now, hopes are high that the planets will be officially confirmed as exoplanets, with 60 of the celestial objects being completely new finds.

Ms Hawthorn said: “We ran an initial algorithm searching for transits on a sample of 1.4 million stars.

“After a painstaking vetting process, we whittled this down to just 85 systems that appear to host exoplanets that transit only twice in the dataset.”

Professor Daniel Bayliss, also involved in the research, added: “It’s very exciting to find these planets, and to know that many of them may be in the right temperature zone to sustain life.”

He added: “Encompassing the collaborative spirit of the TESS mission, we have also made our discoveries public so that astronomers across the globe can study these unique exoplanets in more detail. We hope this will drive further research into these fascinating exoplanets.”

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