The best candidate for alien life: The planet LHS 1140b

The super-Earth exoplanet LHS 1140b is located in the liquid water habitable zone surrounding its parent star, LHS 1140.

Planet LHS 1140b is considered to be one of the best candidates for alien life. LHS 1140b is known as a super earth and is located about 40 light-years away from the Sun and is a star, of a type known as  M dwarf. It is situated in the constellation of Cetus. As seen from Earth the planet passes once in every 25 days in front of its star. Regardless of its small distance from its sun it is estimated that the planet receives about half of the light our planet receives from our Sun.

Astronomers from the MEarth project at Harvard University in the USA discovered the planet by measuring the variation of light when LHS 1140b passes between our earth and its star. The transit method.

The MEarth project which is dedicated to searching for exoplanets orbiting red dwarf stars uses two instruments to scan the heavens: he MEarth-North telescope located at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observartory located at Hopkins near Tuscon Arizona, and The MEarth-South telescope situated at the Cerro Tolodo Inter-American Observatory.

Using the High accuracy radial velocity planet searcher at the La Silla Observatory in Chillie has allowed researchers to get more information on the planet.

We are informed that, as far as is known, there are no other planets orbiting around the star but there is still space for other discoveries. Studies of other solar systems has shown that is possible for there to be more planets than the ones originally discovered.

Despite the fact that the universe is endless and full of mysteries the informations gathered about LHS 1140b makes the planet interesting in its own way and promises more great findings.

The Star Spot team’s leader Dr.Jason Dittmann is amazed by this potential alien home and he intends to learn more about it. He describes LHS 1140b as a rocky planet with diameter of 18,000 kilometers, about 1.4 times that of Earth. However, its mass is much higher, about 6.6 times that of Earth.

What makes LHS 1140b more interesting is its rotation, because it is slower and emits less high-energy radiation than similar stars and it’s at least 5 billion years old. LHS 1140b’s large size means that a magma ocean could have existed on its surface for millions of years.

Dr. Xavier Delfosse and Dr. Xavier Bonfils concluded that the LHS 1140b system might prove to be an even more important target for the future characterization of planets in the habitable zone than Proxima b or TRAPPIST-1.

The astronomers were happy to announce that LHS 1140b is really promising in seeking life forms similar to our planet in its atmosphere.

It’s amazing that we have the chance to see it pass in front of its star once every 25 days because a planet’s atmosphere filters the light from its star.

At last but not least is it said that LHS 1140b is being added to the long list of targets for observations which will be conducted with James Webb Space Telescope  which, from our resources, we found out that it is scheduled to be launched in 2018.  Although it is scheduled for 2018, it is already possible to explore this planet’s atmosphere with existing instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope.

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