Discovered a new exoplanet 21 light years away from Earth

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope recently has discovered a rocky exoplanet just 21 light years away.

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope recently has discovered an exoplanet which is rocky just like Earth and lies only 21 light years away, the closest among the rocky planets ever found.

This planet is much closer than the "Earth 2.0" (1,400 light years) that have just recently been discovered. The planet is 1.6 times larger than Earth, 4.5 times heavier, and orbiting the Sun as Earth, but unfortunately it flies too close (its orbital period is 3 days) so it's not habitable for human and in future will only serve the purpose of the study.

HD 219134b
HD 219134b simulation image

The exoplanet is named HD 219134b, belongs to Cassiopeia constellation. We can not see it with the naked eye but can see the star that it is orbiting. Although there is not much sense in term of living, but this will be a great source library for telescopes to research and learn more about the nature and the process of formation of planets.

Although the basic conditions such as the size and weight are quite ideal compared to Earth, but because of flying too close to its sun, water can not exist in the heat. And this is also the reason why we can not live on this planet.

HD 219134b
We can not see it with the naked eye but can see the star that it is orbiting

But in return the scientists can take advantage of a very close distance to learn more about it, through the new telescopes like James Webb will be launched in 2018. The exoplanets like HD 219134b are a lot in space, but unfortunately we do not know much about them, so having a "neighbor" like this make people feel very excited just like there a bookstore located nearby to read or study at any time without having to go far.

Besides this planet, we also know at least three other planets are orbiting this sun. One's orbital period is 6.8 days, one is 47 days while the other is up to 1,190 days, too different compared to our 365 days.


By: Alex Murphy

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