If you’ve always been interested in outer space, here’s news for you: astronomers have recently found a potentially habitable planet! It’s called Barnard’s Star B. It has slightly more than 24 hours in a day, and it’s always sunny there no matter what. Actually, it’s really cold there, but simple lifeforms can develop and survive in these conditions!
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What this planet’s sun like 0:30
Wobbles = planet? 3:18
What does it mean to be super-earth class planet? 5:07
No dawn at all 6:09
Seas of liquid methane 6:55
And another potential candidate (which is right in our neighborhood) 7:52
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– Look up high into the dark sky, and you’ll see a little murky-looking circle. No, that’s not Barnard’s moon – it’s the planet’s sun. Now look down. Deep under your feet lie countless rivers, lakes, and seas of liquid methane.
– Barnard’s sun is only located 6 light-years away from us, and it’s the 4th closest star to our solar system. Try to imagine our sun 5 times smaller and much less bright.
– Though Edward Emerson Barnard wasn’t the first to discover this star, he proved in 1916 that it’s the fastest star known to us.
– Barnard’s Star is what astronomers call a red dwarf – a small, dim, and truly ancient star that’s getting pretty close to the end of its life cycle.
– The first person to assume there was a planet somewhere near this star was astronomer Peter van de Kamp. Back in the 60s, he observed “wobbles” in the star’s movement.
– Astronomers took lots of measurements with the most advanced astronomical equipment you could imagine, and they came out with 99% certainty that the planet Barnard’s Star B exists.
– “Super-earth” is just the term astronomers use to describe only the size of a planet that’s larger than Earth but considerably smaller than ice giants like Neptune.
– This planet is a huge ball of rock and ice that lies beyond the habitable zone of its star. Even though it’s closer to Barnard’s Star than our Earth is to the Sun, its star provides only 3% of the light that our Sun does.
– According to a 2015 study at Cornell University, chances are that simple methane-based lifeforms can develop and survive in these conditions.
– The existence of such lifeforms is pure theory. So the idea that this newly found Barnard’s Star B planet is habitable for us humans is really far-fetched for now.
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