A team of astronomers have discovered two super-Earths – named Gliese 887b and Gliese 887c – near the red dwarf star Gliese 887, which is 11 light-years away from Earth. These were spotted using Chile’s European Southern Observatory’s High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) spectrograph and after analyzing nearly 20 years of archival data on Gliese 887. Read more for a video and additional information.
The doppler wobble technique was used and found the planets to have orbits of just 9.3 and 21.8 days. Gliese 887b and Gliese 887c are both located near their star’s habitable zone, or in other words, an area where liquid water may potentially exist. Just one caveat: Gliese 887c may have a surface temperature of 158 degrees Fahrenheit. On the bright side, Gliese 887 is quite calm for a red dwarf star.
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These planets will provide the best possibilities for more detailed studies, including the search for life outside our solar system,” said University of Gottingen Astronomer Sandra Saffers.