Astronomers Have Discovered 'The Closest Known Comfortable Abode' For Life

All of you out there who believe that aliens exist now have somewhere a little closer to home to look for life after a newly-discovered world, named Ross 128b, was found by astronomers.

A study has found that not only is the planet the same size as the earth, it also has a similar surface temperature that may be 'the closest known comfortable abode for possible life'.

Astronomers working with the European Southern Observatory's High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) at La Silla Observatory in Chile found that the red dwarf star Ross 128 is orbited by the low-mass 'exoplanet' every 9.9 days.

Ross 128 is the 'quietest' nearby star to host such a temperate exoplanet.

Credit: PA Images

The star is classified as a red dwarf, which are some of the coolest, faintest - and most common - stars in the universe. It was first cataloged in 1926 by American astronomer Frank Elmore Ross.

The team has reported their findings in a paper slated to appear in thejournal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Study co-author Dr Nicola Astudillo-Defru, of the University of Geneva in Switzerland, said: "This discovery is based on more than a decade of HARPS intensive monitoring together with state-of-the-art data reduction and analysis techniques.

"Only HARPS has demonstrated such a precision and it remains the best planet hunter of its kind, 15 years after it began operations."

Credit: PA Images

It might currently be 11 light-years from Earth, but Ross 128 is moving towards us and is expected to become our nearest stellar neighbour in 79,000 years. I hope I live to see it.

It comes after Nasa announced earlier this year that scientists had found a new solar system filled with planets similar to the Earth which could support life.

Three of the seven planets represent the "holy grail for planet-hunting astronomers", as they are the right temperature to allow alien life to flourish, researchers said.

No other star system has ever been found to contain so many Earth-sized and rocky planets of the kind thought to be necessary to contain aliens.

The first Earth-like planet to be discovered was Kepler-186f, a rocky planet that lies within the so-called "habitable zone" and is similar in size to earth.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

James Dawson

James Dawson is a Journalist at LADbible. He has contributed articles to LADbible’s ‘Knowing Me, Knowing EU’ series on the EU referendum, the 'Electoral Dysfunction' series on the 2017 general election, the ‘U OK M8?’ series tackling mental health amongst young men, and for its ‘Climate Change’ initiative in partnership with National Geographic.

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