Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University suggest two of Teegarden’s star planets are the most Earth-like found yet.
The Teegarden’s star is a red M dwarf star about 12.5 light-years away from Earth. Astrophysicist Bonnard Teegarden and his team discovered it back in 2003. Since that time the Teegarden’s star system has been a target for astronomers around the world.
Now the team of researchers is studying the two planets there called Teegarden’s star b and c. No one knew about these worlds until their discovery this past June by a team working on the CARMENES survey.
Now, astrophysicists Amri Wandel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Lev Tal-Or of the University of Tel Aviv are really interested to know more about the habitability of these worlds.
The researchers found that both the planets are relatively close to their star. With orbits of just 4.9 and 11.4 days, both worlds lie in the Goldilocks zone.
You Might Like This: “Frozen Earthlike Planets Could Support Life“
Wandel and Tal-Or don’t know what sort of atmosphere the two exoplanets have but suggest it is likely either or both could support water. That’s because both Teegarden b and Teegarden c are tidally locked. That means that even a thin atmosphere would be enough to spread the warmth and cold across the dark/light dividing line.
The astronomers suggest that as long as these exoplanets have atmospheres that are between a third and 17 times as dense as Earth’s, then it would be possible that at least one region of one of these worlds harbors water and life.
They also noted that the two exoplanets are similar in size to Earth.
Based on calculations the researchers suggest Teegarden b has a 60 percent chance of having surface temperatures between zero and 50 degrees C. Meanwhile, Teegarden c could be colder, with temperatures similar to Mars.
But the astronomers conclude the transition zone could be favorable for supporting life.
The study was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.