The search for habitable planets outside of our solar system has been encouraged even further this week, thanks to the three new planets with the size of Earth, that orbit a star so pale, that without a telescope it can’t be even noticed. The extra-solar planets are usually identified when they pass in front of their star, and that’s how you can measure their size, as well as their orbital distance. This method could potentially reveal information about the planet’s atmosphere, but since the parent star is very often too bright, usually its almost impossible to gain these information.
But now, by identifying planets that are cooled, and their stars pale, astronomers hope that they can directly observe the atmospheres of those worlds out of our solar system. This newest discovery, which have led to discover planets 39 light years away from us, separates a single planet that could be a candidate for further study and observation.
When in 2018, the space telescope James Webb reaches it’s current destination, it will be possible to directly observe the atmospheres of these planets, and the goal is to discover if there is any type of life form on them.
“The systems around these small stars are the only places where we can detect life form on exoplanets with the size of the Earth,” Michael Killon chief researcher of the study says. “There fore, if we want to find a extraterrestrial life form elsewhere in the universe, that is where we should start searching.”