First Earth-like exoplanet with discernable atmospheric conditions discovered

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Earth-like in the loosest of terms


Unfortunately the title is misleading. The journal article’s abstract provides a much better summary of the results >Spectroscopy of transiting exoplanets can be used to investigate their atmospheric properties and habitability. Combining radial velocity (RV) and transit data provides additional information on exoplanet physical properties. We detect a transiting rocky planet with an orbital period of 1.467 days around the nearby red dwarf star Gliese 486. The planet Gliese 486 b is 2.81 Earth masses and 1.31 Earth radii, with uncertainties of 5%, as determined from RV data and photometric light curves. The host star is at a distance of ~8.1 parsecs, has a J-band magnitude of ~7.2, and is observable from both hemispheres of Earth. On the basis of these properties and the planet’s short orbital period and high equilibrium temperature, we show that this terrestrial planet is suitable for emission and transit spectroscopy. No “discernable atmospheric conditions” were discovered. The authors just think the planet will be a good target for the James Webb Space Telescope, which could infer the presence or absence of an atmosphere. With such a small orbital period, it is very close to its host star and highly irradiated. Likely there is no atmosphere at all.


There’s nothing wrong with terms such as earth like. These unscientific terms are useful for appealing to a wider audience.


What? Who cares? Even if we could travel there, the first thing that would be done to it is exploit the planet for it’s natural resources like gold and kills it’s inhabitants. Not to mention overpopulate the planet with careless, violent and gullible idiots. Maybe we should try repair the damage we done to our planet first and respect it’s nature before looking at what other planet we can pollute next.