Anyone who remembers our Solar System knows that none of the planets in the line of the Sun are equal to Earth. But two rocky exoplanets (celestial bodies outside our solar system) with Earth-like characteristics are orbiting a red dwarf star and arousing the curiosity of scientists.
The biggest news about the newer planet, however, is that it is in a potentially habitable zone and its orbit allows it to receive an amount of radiation similar to that of Earth. As if these weren’t big surprises, the presence of water on the surface is also a possibility.
The first planet identified was LP 890-9b, which is now being observed by astronomers around the world; but it didn’t attract as much attention as the second one: LP 890-9c or also called Speculoos-2c, 105 light-years from us, with more intriguing features.
With the leadership of astrophysicist Laetitia Delrez, from the University of Liège, the celestial bodies were located by NASA and the University of Liège, in Belgium, through the Specullos telescopes (search for habitable planets and ultra-cold eclipsed stars, the acronym in English). ), installed in Chile and in the archipelago of Tenerife, Spain.
What is already known about the second Super-Earth
According to the magazine “New Scientist”, the planet LP 890-9c or Speculoos-2c has only a few details discovered, such as its size and orbit time. Its radius is 30% to 40% greater than Earth’s, and it takes just 8.4 days to orbit its dwarf star.
It is also known that it has no rotation, which means that it is always day on one side and night on the other. The expectation is that the James Webb telescope can reveal more information, such as the presence of atmosphere and what it is made of.
The study of Speculoos-2c’s atmosphere will begin and has already excited scientists about the possibility of having life forms. “This is a unique opportunity to better understand the habitability conditions around the smallest and coldest stars in our solar neighbourhood,” explained astrophysicist Laetitia Delrez.
The researchers also consider it to be the second most habitable planet ever discovered, after Trappist-1e, outside our Solar System, and possibly containing liquid water on its surface.
We will need more research to confirm the possibility of inhabiting LP 890-9c, but we already have good signs that it is a strong candidate for prolonging life beyond Earth.