At only 31 light-years, one of the closest exoplanets ever detected could have liquid water on its surface. (habitable planet)
Illustration about what GJ 357 d would look like.
The TESS space telescope continues to accumulate alien successes, this time it detected a new world orbiting a nearby star in the constellation Hydra. When confirming the finding, astronomers also noticed the presence of two other worlds orbiting the star.
One of those planets, called GJ 357 d, could have liquid water if its atmosphere is thick enough and composed of rock. The planetary system to which it belongs is the closest third identified using the “transit” method – by which telescopes observe small variations in the brightness of the star that can be caused by the passage of planets in front of it. The Kepler telescope pioneered this technique but has now been refined by TESS.
The important thing of all is that GJ 357 d is in the habitable zone of its hostess, that is, the range of distance where a rocky world has the right temperature for liquid water to exist on its surface.
“It is located on the outer edge of the habitable zone, where it receives approximately the same amount of solar energy from its star as Mars of the Sun,” explains Diana Kossakowski, a member of the team that discovered the exoplanet. “If it has a dense atmosphere – something that will surely determine future studies – then it could trap enough heat to heat the planet and allow the existence of liquid water on its surface.”(habitable planet)
“On the other hand, if it turns out that this world does not have an atmosphere or it is very weak, its surface would be about -53 ° C, well below the freezing point,” he adds.
The mass of GJ 357 d is at least 6.1 times that of Earth and orbits its small star every 55.7 days.
The current exoplanetary discovery is among the 45 closest confirmed to date, out of a total of 4,025.