'Super-Earth' planets that could support human life have been discovered

University of Hertfordshire: Two Potentially Habitable Planets Detected Orbiting the Nearest Sun-Like Star

Well, there is no end to our curiosity, now, scientists have discovered two potentially habitable planets which are been orbiting a relatively nearby star "Tau Ceti" which nearly looks like our Sun.

The hope is that if the two outer planets are found to be rocky and habitable then they could become the first real contenders for colonisation outside of our own solar system.

Located further from Tau Ceti, these planets are less likely to be tidally locked to the star-having one side always face the star and the other side always face away from it-than planets orbiting smaller red dwarfs. While they couldn't support water on their surfaces, they're among the smallest, Earth-sized planets ever detected around a nearby Sun-like star, with masses as low as 1.7 times the amount of Earth's mass. This required techniques sensitive enough to detect variations in the movement of the star as small as 30 centimeters per second.

All four planets have masses as low as 1.7 Earth mass. Space.com noted that a large debris disk much like our own Kuiper Belt surrounds Tau Ceti, which in the absence of a large Jupiter-like planet to absorb projectiles, may be constantly bombarding its planets with comets and meteors.

An worldwide team of astronomers discovered four Earth-sized exoplanets amid stellar noise. While local star be a powerful emission of plasma.

Life as we know it is dependent on liquid water for its existence, and if rocky, habitable worlds with ample water exist just 12 light years away, they might be our best bet as scientists search for signs of life outside of Earth, or even a potential target for human colonization. It has allowed the team to rule out two signals that had previously been identified as planets in 2013, leaving four worlds circling Tau Ceti.

The scientists were able to analyse the planets around star system by measuring the "wobble" of the star itself as the planets orbit around it.

According to Dr. Fabo Feng, the lead researcher of the study, the weak wobbles indicate a planet with conditions similar to Earth.

"The most important discovery in this work is that we have detected the weakest signal and are reaching the limit of detecting Earth analogs using radial velocity method", Feng said.

Such movements indicate that a planet has passed by, and scientists can see the signature of this effect in the star's light. It also revealed that two of the planets, Tau Ceti e and Tau Ceti f, lay inside the star's habitable zone.

The W.M. Keck Observatory shared the news on August 9, which was the result of data gathered by their observatory on Mauna Kea, as well as the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

The discovery of the planets was down to advancements in the astronomers' techniques.

The findings are due to appear in an upcoming edition of The Astrophysical Journal.

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