This is the first time when astronomers discover a super Earth exoplanet which has an atmosphere and is located beyond our solar system. This planet appears to be only a bit larger than ours. The exoplanet named by scientists GJ 1132b was unveiled to orbit around the dwarf star GJ 1132, and it is situated about 39 light-years away from Terra.
- A super Earth exoplanet was discovered to have an atmosphere.
- Scientists revealed an exoplanet of about the same size as our.
- Now, they hope to reveal whether this planet has signs of life.
Based on the information gathered during the new study, the exoplanet has a radius of about 1.4 times that of our planet while it is 1.6 times bigger than Earth. In the beginning, when researchers had first analyzed it believed that it might be Venus twin due to its high temperatures at the surface and its rocky structure.
After further studies, they revealed that Venus and the new exoplanet both have atmospheres. Nevertheless, the one of GJ 1132b is different from the one of Venus’. Astronomers claim that they have long discovered Jupiter-like planets which had an atmosphere and also a super Earth which was eight times the size of our planet, but this appears to be the first time when they reveal a super Earth exoplanet which has almost the same size as Terra.
Scientists can use the atmosphere of a planet to analyze and establish whether it is a habitable planet or if it has some potential life traces. John Southworth, who is the first author of this study and a researcher at Keele University in the United Kingdom, claimed that even if they did not detect life on a new planet, this discovery is still a significant one which might lead in that particular direction.
Discovering an atmosphere around the super Earth exoplanet GJ 1132b celebrates the first time when an Earth-like planet proved to have an atmosphere. Astronomers used the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile to capture some pictures of this planet. They used seven different types of wavelengths to measure the star system, and they have also looked at the brightness of the star, determining the radius of the super Earth exoplanet.
The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy developed further research and indicated that the orbit of the planet around its star is about 1.6 days. Apparently, one of the wavelengths revealed a massive dip in brightness compared to the others, indicating that this exoplanet has a surrounding atmosphere.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia