New Earth-Like Planet Spotted by New Zealand Astronomers

The presence of a planet that resembles Earth is something nearly impossible, but New Zealand astronomers think otherwise. A team of astronomers from the University of Canterbury detailed that the planet was one of only a few with a similar dimension and volume to our planet. The so-called “Super-Earth” planet’s orbit triggers it to have a year of 617, almost double the length here on Earth. It also orbits a smaller host star, approximately 10 % of the mass of our Sun.

New Super-Earth Features and Possibilities

The leading researcher Dr.Antonio Herera Martin explained that the finding was one of the first events he had personally observed and was very rare. The planet was spotted utilizing a procedure dubbed microlensing. Such a technique represents a star that moves in front of another star, resulting in a temporary shedding of light that can unveil other untracked stars or space objects. The discovery is something of a mix of good collaborative study work and “insanely lucky timing.”

“The raw data showed nothing of note, and it was only when I took a closer look that I saw a tiny bump, which turned out to be our newly discovered planet,” detailed Dr. Martin.

The event was initially spotted through two Chilean telescopes back in 2018 and was dubbed OGLE-2018 BLG-0677, after the date, it was detected and the makes of the devices that first noticed it. Since the first tracking, the University of Canterbury’s astronomers began examining the data back in January 2019. It spent almost a full year to make sure the discoveries were precise. It was, of course, unique and very satisfactory. The finding represents a collaborative effort between astronomers in Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, Korea, and Australia, and their study has been published in the Astronomical Journal.

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