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Discover two of Earth’s habitable sister planets – space and astronomy

Two alien planets similar to ours in size have been discovered, around a red dwarf just 16 light-years away, in the direction of the constellation of Pisces: they both orbit at a distance from their star that is ideal for keeping water in a liquid state, and therefore potentially capable of hosting life. . discovery, being published In the Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, it was prepared by an international group of researchers led by the Spanish Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (Iac), which was also attended by researchers from the National Institute of Astrophysics (Inaf) and the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa.

“Nature seems determined to prove that Earth-like exoplanets are very common,” comments Alejandro Suarez Mascareño, who led the study: “With these two, we already know of 7 of them in nearby systems.” The two newly identified planets orbit GJ 1002, a dim star with a mass of only 12% that of our Sun. The innermost, GJ 1002 b, completes a full orbit in just 10 days, while the second planet, GJ 1002c, takes 21 days. .

The star’s proximity to our solar system makes both planets excellent candidates for more in-depth study. “We expect to be able to investigate the presence of the atmosphere using the Andean instrument, whose design is led by Italy and in which EENAV is heavily involved – says Alessandro Suzzetti of EENAV, co-author of the study.” The Andes will be installed on the observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). The European Southern Observatory (ESO), the world’s largest telescope with its main mirror measuring 39 meters in diameter, is now under construction in the Chilean desert.

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