The U.S. Space Agency (NASA) thinks he has detected a planet of a size equivalent to two thirds that of Earth . The astronomers, who used the Spitzer Space Telescope, found this “candidate exoplanet” calledUCF-1.01, at 33 light years away. This makes him, “possibly” in the closest to our solar system are smaller than that of Earth .
The exoplanets are those orbiting stars beyond our Sun According to NASA , are very few who have found smaller than Earth . Spitzer had already collaborated on studies of exoplanet transit, but the UCF-1.01 is the first identified. This is why scientists believe that the telescope can join the efforts to find planets similar to Earth’s size and potentially habitable.
“We found strong evidence of a very small planet, very hot and very close,” said Kevin Stevenson of the University of Central Florida , who participated in the discovery. Stevenson and his team were studying a planet the size of Neptune , the GJ 436b , orbiting the red dwarf starGJ 436 , when they found this new exoplanet.
In the data recorded by Spitzer, astronomers noticed slight decreases in the amount of infrared light from the star, independent of falls caused by GJ 436b. A review of archival data from the telescope showed that these declines were periodic, suggesting that a second planet orbiting the star.
The duration of the transit of a planet from its star, and the small decrease in the amount of light of this that comes to Earth, reveals the basic properties of an exoplanet. Its size and its distance from its star. In the case of UCF-1.01 , its diameter would be about 8,400 kilometers, two thirds of the Earth. GJ436 orbits within walking distance, about seven times more than that between the Earth and Moon.
Given this proximity to its star, the planet is closer than the planet Mercury -Sun, the surface temperature of the exoplanet is around 600 ° C.