As people who’ve grown in the age of sci-fi and the endless progression of technology, we’ve always been fascinated with the idea of discovering what’s really out there.
Now, humans just came one step closer to realizing this dream with the discovery of a new “Super Earth” that could potentially be host to alien life forms.
According to a study conducted by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, planet LHS 1140b orbits a star that is roughly a fifth the size of our sun.
“This is the most exciting exoplanet I've seen in the past decade. We could hardly hope for a better target to perform one of the biggest quests in science—searching for evidence of life beyond Earth,” lead author Jason Dittmann said.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. Aside from being a place where we could discover alien life, it can also possibly end up becoming the next place we call home.
First of all, LHS 1140b is relatively near us being only 40 light-years away from Earth. It also has a rocky composition which is a really good thing—just imagine living in a world without a solid surface.
It’s also highly likely that the planet can hold water in its liquid state which is a must for us humans to survive.
The best thing though is it boasts 6.6 times more mass than Earth’s while also being 11,000 miles in diameter. In short, LHS 1140b is 40 percent larger which means it can house as much more human life and resources.
But there will be compromises if we indeed make it there and find that it is habitable. For one, we’ll be getting half the amount of sunlight compared to Earth due to how the planet orbits its star which is every 25 days.
For now, life beyond Earth and the search for a habitable planet still remains one of the biggest challenges in humanity’s space race. We just hope that we can learn more about LHS 1140b when the James Webb Space Telescope launches next year.
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