Three planets for a red dwarf
EPIC 201367065, is a red dwarf M-class (the coldest), has about half the size and mass of our sun and is located at “just” 150 light years from Earth. The outermost planet, once it is half the radius of Earth’s orbit far enough away from its star, receiving levels of light from its parent star comparable to terrestrial.
Three planets comparable in size to that of the Earth have been identified in the orbit of a “fresh” Red Dwarf from exoplanets hunter par excellence, the Kepler space telescope.
EPIC 201367065, is a red dwarf M-class (the coldest), has about half the size and mass of our sun and is located at “just” 150 light years from Earth, in the top 10 closest stars to us known to have transiting planets. A star close enough and bright enough to allow astronomers to study the atmospheres of the planets in transit by determining if the composition is favorable or not to life.
“A thin atmosphere made of nitrogen and oxygen has allowed life to flourish on Earth. But nature is full of surprises. Many extrasolar planets discovered by the Kepler mission are surrounded by a thick atmosphere composed of hydrogen incompatible with life as we know it”, says Ian Crossfield, an astronomer at the University of Arizona who led the study, waiting for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.
The three planets are 2.1, 1.7, and 1.5 times the size of Earth. The outermost planet, one and half times the Earth’s radius, is the smallest of the group and orbit far enough away from its star, receiving levels of light from its parent star comparable to those receiving the Earth from the sun. The authors of the study calculated that the three planets receive 10.5, 3.2 and 1.4 times the light intensity that the Earth receives.
“Most of the planets we’ve found to date are too warm, sometimes hot. This system seems to be closer system with planets with a moderate temperature, “says one of the authors Erik Petigura. “There is a very real possibility that the outermost planet is rocky like Earth, which means that this planet could have the right temperature to support liquid water oceans.”
Andrew Howard from the University of Hawaii: ‘The planets the size and temperature of the Earth are common in our Milky Way.” “We also found some planets the size of Earth which seem to be made of the same materials, mostly of rock and iron.”