LHS 1140b Transiting rocky super-Earth found in habitable zone of quiet red dwarf star

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LHS 1140b Transiting rocky super-Earth found in habitable zone of quiet red dwarf star

Post by Led_Zep on 19th April 2017, 1:29 pm

ESO press release :

http://www.eso.org/public/unitedkingdom/news/eso1712/?lang

Newly Discovered Exoplanet May be Best Candidate in Search for Signs of Life
Transiting rocky super-Earth found in habitable zone of quiet red dwarf star

The newly discovered super-Earth LHS 1140b orbits in the habitable zone around a faint red dwarf star, named LHS 1140, in the constellation of Cetus (The Sea Monster) [1]. Red dwarfs are much smaller and cooler than the Sun and, although LHS 1140b is ten times closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun, it only receives about half as much sunlight from its star as the Earth and lies in the middle of the habitable zone. The orbit is seen almost edge-on from Earth and as the exoplanet passes in front of the star once per orbit it blocks a little of its light every 25 days.
“This is the most exciting exoplanet I’ve seen in the past decade,” said lead author Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Cambridge, USA). “We could hardly hope for a better target to perform one of the biggest quests in science — searching for evidence of life beyond Earth.”

The paper (free) : https://www.eso.org/public/archives/releases/sciencepapers/eso1712/eso1712a.pdf
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Re: LHS 1140b Transiting rocky super-Earth found in habitable zone of quiet red dwarf star

Post by Lazarus on 19th April 2017, 3:41 pm

Another habitable exoplanet? *yawn*

Actually no, good to have a nearby transiting HZ planet around a more luminous star than TRAPPIST-1, will be interesting to see how the conditions on the planets compare.

Though it's still something of an anomaly, given the apparent high rate of "habitable" terrestrial planets around M dwarf stars, that the habitable planet we are on (so far, the only confirmed planet with life) is located around what would appear to be an unusually massive host star.
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Re: LHS 1140b Transiting rocky super-Earth found in habitable zone of quiet red dwarf star

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 19th April 2017, 4:19 pm

Is the measured M dwarf "eta-Earth" actually higher than the G dwarf "eta-Earth"?
I suspect that final statement is probably prone to a number of observational biases.

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Re: LHS 1140b Transiting rocky super-Earth found in habitable zone of quiet red dwarf star

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 19th April 2017, 8:22 pm


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Re: LHS 1140b Transiting rocky super-Earth found in habitable zone of quiet red dwarf star

Post by Lazarus on 20th April 2017, 2:53 am

Even if the rate of HZ terrestrials around red dwarfs is comparable to that around G dwarfs, the Earth would still be atypical because there are more low mass stars than high mass ones. You'd need a ridiculously high G-dwarf eta-Earth to counteract that, or alternatively the eta-Earth for M dwarfs is substantially lower than the apparent occurrence rate for HZ terrestrials around M dwarfs, i.e. the vast majority of these "habitable" planets are not actually habitable.
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Re: LHS 1140b Transiting rocky super-Earth found in habitable zone of quiet red dwarf star

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 20th April 2017, 8:29 pm

Oh! I get what you were saying now. Yeah I agree that does seem odd.

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