Exoplanets just 31 light-years away may reshape our understanding on extraterrestrial intelligence


Multiple exoplanets discovered by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will give a new dimension to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in the deep nooks of the universe. Interestingly, these exoplanets are orbiting a star named GJ 357 which is located just 31 light-years away in the Hydra constellation.

A study report that details the discovery of these exoplanets, published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics revealed that GJ 357 is 40 percent cooler than our sun, and it is only about a third of the sun's mass and size.

Using TESS, scientists initially discovered an exoplanet named GJ 357 b. Experts consider this exoplanet a Super-Earth, since it is 22 percent larger and 80 percent massive than the blue planet. This exoplanet completes its orbit around the host star in 3.9 earth days, and analysis revealed that it has an average temperature of 490 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scientists revealed that this exoplanet does not have the capability of hosting alien life, due to its mindblowing temperature.

However, the second exoplanet GJ 357 d found in the cluster can become a potential candidate to find alien life, as it lies in the outer edge of the star's habitable zone. Experts also speculate that this exoplanet which is 6.1 times massive than the earth could have the right conditions to support liquid water on its surface.

"GJ 357 d is located within the outer edge of its star's habitable zone, where it receives about the same amount of stellar energy from its star as Mars does from the Sun. If the planet has a dense atmosphere, which will take future studies to determine, it could trap enough heat to warm the planet and allow liquid water on its surface," said Diana Kossakowski, a researcher who works at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and the co-author of the study, Science Daily reports.

Researchers added that the temperature in this Super-Earth could be negative 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Lisa Kaltenegger, study author and an associate professor of astronomy and director of Cornell's Carl Sagan Institute revealed that signs of alien life could be discovered from GJ 357 d in the coming years using advanced telescopes.

GJ 357 c, the third exoplanet discovered is located in between GJ 357 b and GJ 357 d. GJ 357 c has 3.4 times the mass of Earth, and it holds a temperature of 260 degrees Fahrenheit.

A few days back, NASA's TESS had discovered an exoplanet that has three suns. This exoplanet named 'LTT 1445Ab' is located just 22.5 light-years away, and considering its close proximity to the earth, experts believe that it could be the key to unveiling mysteries surrounding alien life.

Related topics : Exoplanet