Astronomy
This artist`s impression shows HD40307g in the foreground (on the left hand side), with its host sta

Hd 40307 g is the Newest Planet that Scientists think may be Habitable



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This artist`s impression shows HD40307g in the foreground (on the left hand side), with its host sta
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"Hd 40307 g is the Newest Planet that Scientists think may be Habitable"
Caption: This artist`s impression shows HD40307g in the foreground (on the left hand side), with its host sta
Location: 
Image by: J. Pinfield, for the RoPACS network at the University of Hertfordshire.
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Astronomers have announced the discovery of a new exoplanet that could potentially support life. The new planet, which has been named HD 40307 g, is believed to be what scientists call a "goldilocks" planet, which means conditions are ripe to harbor life.

The discovery of HD 40307 g was made by a team of international astronomers, led by Mikko Tuomi, University of Hertfordshire, and Guillem Anglada-Escude, University of Goettingen.  The newly discovered planet is described as being approximately seven times larger than Earth, and, like Earth, rotates on its own axis, giving a day/night effect.

According to astronomers, the new "super-Earth" could potentially have life, reported Yahoo! News  (via Space.com).

HD 40307 g, which is a part of a system that orbit the star HD 40307, was only recently discovered. That system had previously been believed to contain only three planets, but recent findings learned there are actually three additional planets, bringing the total to six.

Scientists said, "by avoiding fake signals caused by stellar activity, the researchers have identified three new super-Earth planet candidates also in orbit," reported Astrobiology Magazine.

“We pioneered new data analysis techniques including the use of the wavelength as a filter to reduce the influence of activity on the signal from this star," said Tuomi. "This significantly increased our sensitivity and enabled us to reveal three new super-Earth planets around the star known as HD 40307, making it into a six-planet system.”

HD 40307 g is described as being located 42 light-years away from Earth, unlike Earth's 365.3 year, has a shorter197.8 day year. It orbits 55.8 million miles (90 million kilometers) from HD 40307, whereas Earth is 93 million miles (150 kilometers) from the Sun

“The star HD 40307, is a perfectly quiet old dwarf star, so there is no reason why such a planet could not sustain an Earth-like climate," said Angla-Escude

Researchers believe HD 40307 g's proximity to Earth means as technology progresses, astronomers may one day be able to collect direct images as newer and stronger telescopes are built.

However, until that day, scientists must go on theory and what evidence they have collected to date. Space.com interviewed Tuomi by email and he indicated there is a 50/50 chance HD 40307 g has a rocky-like terrain, similar to Earth.

"…the truth at the moment is that we simply do not know whether the planet is a large Earth or a small, warm Neptune without a solid surface," Tuomi said.

HD 40307 g has gotten a lot of attention, perhaps the most since Gliese 581 g was found in Sept. 2010. That newly uncovered planet, also considered to be in a "Goldilocks" zone, created a level of controversy, but is currently rated as the exoplanet most likely to be able to sustain life.

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  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.astrobio.net/pressrelease/5134/a-super-earth-in-a-six-planet-system
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