Astronomers have discovered two star systems with planets similar to the Earth

The search for exoplanets continues to bear fruit. Recently a group of scientists from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) and the University of Oviedo, both in Spain, has managed to find not one, but two stellar systems with exoplanets similar to Earth.

One of them is around the star K2-239, a red dwarf that is 160 light years from our own Solar System and that would have three exoplanets orbiting it at a much smaller distance than the Earth from the Sun. However, being a star with less energy, it is possible that they still have their atmospheres and are in the so-called habitable zone.

According to astronomers, of these three exoplanets, two would have a radius 1.1 times that of Earth, while the third would be almost the same size. All were detected thanks to the transit mechanism, so that only their orbits and their sizes are known.

To study them more carefully, scientists must wait for NASA to send its new James Webb telescope to space, which is scheduled for 2020, if it is not postponed again.

With this instrument one could determine the conditions in which these exoplanets are found, although experts believe that their surfaces are a few tens of degrees celsius above the temperature on Earth.

Meanwhile, the other star system detected is around the star K2-240, which contains two exoplanets that could be similar to Earth, but are twice the size. Like the previous example, they are also closer to their star, again a red dwarf.

Andrei Santov

Andrei, a sociologist by profession, born in Russia but currently located in UK, covers mostly European and Russia-related news for The Talking Democrat.