this newly discovered exoplanet has almost the same temperature as Earth

this newly discovered exoplanet has almost the same temperature as Earth
this newly discovered exoplanet has almost the same temperature as Earth

Among the great quests of modern astronomy, that of the discovery of an exoplanet resembling Earth is certainly one of the most important. If some are very far from the characteristics of our planet, such as BEBOP-1C or even J1407b and its immense rings, Gliese 12 b is already getting a little closer to our fold. Close in size to Venus and located just 40 light years from us, its surface temperature is estimated at 42°C. This is hot, but still more livable than the atmosphere of KELT-9b, the hottest exoplanet known to date with its 4,300°C.

A temperate exoplanet: a cosmic rarity

Gliese 12 b is a rocky exoplanet, located just seven percent of the distance from Earth to the Sun. Its quite remarkable characteristics distinguish it from other exoplanets observed to date. First of all, its surface temperature is considered moderate. Even though its 42°C is well above the Earth’s average temperature (15°C), this nevertheless places it in a potential habitable zone. A place where liquid water could very well exist on its surface.

You should know that exoplanets with temperatures close to those of Earth still remain relatively rare. Indeed, most of those detected so far are rather burning gas giants or entirely frozen icy planets. Gliese 12 b could therefore well become one of the most Earth-like exoplanetsif its previously cited characteristics are confirmed by subsequent research.

Conditions conducive to life?

The astronomers behind the discovery of Gliese 12 b will now focus on two essential questions. The first: does this exoplanet have an atmosphere? The second: can it accommodate stable liquid water on its surface? If these conditions are met, Gliese 12 b could become an object of study of choice in the search for potential extraterrestrial life.

This exoplanet’s host star, a red dwarf named Gliese 12, does not show signs of extreme activity typical of red dwarfs, including frequent and powerful X-ray flares. An additional feature reinforcing astronomers’ hopes for the integrity of the atmosphere of Gliese 12 b.

Next step: send the James Webb Space Telescope towards it to refine our understanding of this new exoplanet. In the meantime, the results of this research were published on May 23 in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

  • A new exoplanet called Gliese 12 has been discovered.
  • Its surface temperature of 42°C is considered moderate and quite close to that of Earth.
  • These conditions would be conducive to the development of life, but further studies would be necessary to ensure this.

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