NASA astronomers have discovered one other exoplanet exterior the photo voltaic system. It’s bigger than Earth and is 21 light-years from our planet.
The new planet has been dubbed HD 219134b, and might’t be seen straight even with telescopes, however the star the planet orbits is seen to the human eye within the Cassiopeia constellation, close to the North Star, NASA stated in an announcement.
But the telescope sees the dimming of the star, and might calculate the planet’s dimension and different parameters based mostly on it.
The planet weighs 4.5 occasions greater than Earth, and has a quick three-day orbit round its star.
HD 219134b can also be the closest instance of a transiting planet, that’s to say, a planet which crosses in entrance of its star and could be studied.
“Transiting exoplanets are worth their weight in gold because they can be extensively characterized. This exoplanet will be one of the most studied for decades to come,” stated Michael Werner, the undertaking scientist for the Spitzer mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Transiting is uncommon due to the totally different planets’ orientation to Earth. The course of consists of the planet’s orbit located between its star and Earth, dimming the star’s gentle because of this.
An upside of HD 219134b is that it’s comparatively near Earth, scientists say.
“Most of the known planets are hundreds of light-years away. This one is practically a next-door neighbor,” stated Lars A. Buchhave, an astronomer and research co-author on the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The nearest planet that astronomers find out about is GJ674b at 14.8 light-years away. However, there aren’t any particulars about its composition.
HD 219134b is taken into account a rocky planet, and is a thought of a “super-Earth” with proportions larger than these of our planet.