Research

Pair of super-Earths found orbiting star K2-18

Pair of super-Earths found orbiting star K2-18

In a significant breakthrough in man's relentless search for life beyond Earth, a new research claims to have found a planet that could host alien life. But scientists weren't sure if the planet was a scaled-up version of Earth (a rocky or terrestrial planet) or a scaled-down version of Neptune (a gas and ice planet). K2-18b, however, is now among the most exciting bets for atmospheric study.

The researchers discovered that K2-18b, which is now being called super-Earth, and its neighbor planet, both orbit a red dwarf star, named K2-18, which is situated in the constellation Leo, around 111 light years away from Earth, reported UdeMNouvelles - Université de Montréal. The exoplanet was found to be in the star's habitable zone, meaning it could have liquid water on its surface, a necessary ingredient for life as we know it.

The new study used data collected by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which has its headquarters in Munich, Germany. Scientists, aside from two regular signals that they received every 39 days from the star's rotation and every 33 days from the planet's orbit, discovered a third signal which they received every nine days, which was the first indication that there might be another planet close to K2-18b. They measured radial velocities of stars, which can reveal the existence of planets located around the measured stars. The High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) planet-finding spectrograph installed on the telescope measures the radial velocities of stars, which are affected by any nearby planets, with the highest accuracy available, enabling it to detect even the smallest of planets.

"It was not a eureka moment because we still had to go through a checklist of things to do in order to verify the data", said Cloutier, lead author of the study published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Current technology prevents us from being able to definitively say which one it is but the fact that it could be either is a huge leap forward in our understanding of this distant solar system. "Once all the boxes were checked it sunk in that, wow, this actually is a planet", said Ryan Cloutier, who had the target of finding at least one new exoplanet during the course of his Ph.D.

More news: Phil Fulmer's search for next Vols head coach drawing to a close

They're clearly more interested in K2-18b, with researchers saying the planet will be a prime target for Nasa's James Webb Space telescope, which will launch in 2019.

Study co-author Professor René Doyon, also from the University of Montreal, added: "There's a lot of demand to use this telescope, so you have to be meticulous in choosing which exoplanets to look at".

Engineers inspect the James Webb Space Telescope after cryogenic testing in Houston, November 19, 2017.

"It was while looking through the data of K2-18b that we noticed something unusual", he said.

"When we first threw the data on the table we were trying to figure out what it was".


  • Analysts are on the Bearish side about CME Group Inc

    It is negative, as 38 investors sold CME shares while 226 reduced holdings. 67 funds opened positions while 231 raised stakes. Guggenheim Cap Limited Co accumulated 374,922 shares. 14-day Williams %R for CME Group Inc . (NASDAQ: CME ) or 11,912 shares.
    Rajkummar Rao And Shraddha Kapoor Are Co-Stars Now. Details Here

    Rajkummar Rao And Shraddha Kapoor Are Co-Stars Now. Details Here

    As for Rajkummar Rao, after delivering six films in 2017, the actor has lined up another series of releases in the coming year. While Shraddha Kapoor is now prepping up for her upcoming Saina Nehwal's biopic and Prabhas' Saaho .

    Hockey player Rizwan Khan found dead in his vehicle with bullet injury

    Khan's father found his vehicle parked outside the girl's house and saw him lying in a pool of blood inside it, the police said. When he didn't return till late, his family called on his number and her cousin answered, but refused to give their address.
  • Serena Williams 'has entered' Australian Open

    This comes after she wedded her boyfriend, the Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian in a pompous wedding in New Orleans in November . Serena Williams has entered the Australian Open in January, tournament director Craig Tiley has said.
    PureCircle (PURE) Rating Reiterated by Liberum Capital

    PureCircle (PURE) Rating Reiterated by Liberum Capital

    Maverick Capital Ltd increased American Express Co (NYSE:AXP) stake by 12,330 shares to 20,770 valued at $1.75 million in 2017Q2. It improved, as 28 investors sold SABR shares while 64 reduced holdings. 65 funds opened positions while 154 raised stakes.
    Analyzing US Gasoline Inventories and Demand

    Analyzing US Gasoline Inventories and Demand

    Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 0.62% at $62.47 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange. The accord was first struck a year ago with the aim of draining the global oil glut and boosting prices.
  • Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) Holdings Boosted by Hosking Partners LLP

    Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) Holdings Boosted by Hosking Partners LLP

    General Electric Co. now has $154.02B valuation. (NYSE: DAL ) traded down $0.52 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $52.39. Df Dent & Co Inc decreased Signet Jewelers Ltd (NYSE:SIG) stake by 9,633 shares to 10,632 valued at $672,000 in 2017Q2.
    Hornets coach Steve Clifford away for 'immediate future' to address health issues

    Hornets coach Steve Clifford away for 'immediate future' to address health issues

    Clifford, 56, was hired as head coach of the then-Bobcats in 2013 and led Charlotte to a playoff appearance in his first year. The Hornets play a home game Wednesday against the National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors.

    Schlumberger (SLB) Receiving Somewhat Favorable News Coverage, Study Finds

    Jacobs & Co increased its stake in Schlumberger (SLB) by 9.33% based on its latest 2017Q2 regulatory filing with the SEC. BidaskClub lowered Schlumberger from a "hold" rating to a "sell" rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th.
  • Oracle Corporation (ORCL) Expected to Post Earnings of $0.68 Per Share

    Causeway Capital Mgmt Ltd Liability Corporation owns 3.96% invested in Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL ) for 6.37 million shares. Her Majesty The Queen In Right Of The Province Of Alberta As Represented By Alberta Invest Mgmt Corp owns 533,900 shares.
    Majority of voters disapprove GOP tax plan, says helps wealthy

    Majority of voters disapprove GOP tax plan, says helps wealthy

    Whites with college degrees - critical swing voters in suburban House districts - disapprove by a 60 percent to 36 percent margin. Another poll from Quinnipiac University also found that 29 percent approved of the TCJA, while 53 percent disapproved.

    Eagle Bancorp, Inc. (EGBN) Insider Trading: DWORKEN DUDLEY C sold 2000 Shares

    Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a "neutral" rating on shares of Eagle Bancorp in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Eagle Bancorp by 38.6% in the second quarter.