The German investigative weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel has revealed that researchers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have discovered a new Earth-like planet with water.
The ESO is a 16-nation intergovernmental research organization for ground-based astronomy. It was founded in 1962 to provided astronomers with state-of-the-art research facilities and access to the southern sky. Although ESO is headquartered in Germany, its telescopes and observatories are in northern Chile, where the organization operates advanced ground-based astronomical facilities. This current Earth-like planet discovery was made by the telescopes in Chile. Der Spiegel published the story on the discovery of the planet on August 12, 2016.
According to Der Spiegel, the newly discovered planet orbits the small Proxima Centauri star, which other than the sun is the closest star to Earth, located only 4.25 light years away. Light years is a unit of length used informally to express astronomical distances. One light year is approximately 9 trillion kilometres.
Space.com reports that Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf, a star much smaller and cooler than the sun. It is said about three-quarters of all stars in the Milky Way galaxy are red dwarfs.
The new planet is said to be located in the “Goldilocks zone” or “habitable zone,” meaning it orbits the star at a distance favorable to having liquid water on the surface, which is vital for supporting life. It is said features of the new planet suggest that life is very possible.
Der Spiegel said an anonymous source within the ESO revealed the discovery of the new planet to its investigative journalists. It is believed the ESO will make an official announcement of the discovery of the planet at the end of August 2016.
The source at the ESO reportedly told Der Spiegel that the researchers who discovered the planet are shocked at their discovery, and that the shock is contributing to the delay of the announcement of the planet to the public.
The unnamed source was quoted as saying: “Never before have scientists discovered a second Earth that is so close by.”
However, when the news of the discovery was broke by Der Spiegel, some media outlets contacted the ESO to determine the veracity of the story. Surprisingly, ESO officials could not confirm or refute the story.
“We were surprised to see the article in Der Spiegel and do not know the source. ESO has no further comment to make at present,” ESO spokesman, Richard Hook told Space.com on the story.
The statement from ESO has led some observers to believe the new planet has indeed been discovered. The revelation made by Der Spiegel, that life is possible on the newly discovered planet, has brought back the old debate about a possible existence of life on other planets apart from the Earth. Some people even say it is possible that the newly discovered planet belongs to aliens, fueling the debate about alien life and their possible mission to Earth.
The RT English News reports that if the discovery of the planet is true, it will come just over a year after the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) discovered two other exoplanets outside the solar system – Kepler-452b and HD 219134b.
Both planets discovered by NASA were found to be in habitable zones, with Kepler-452b located around 1,400 light years away, while HD 219134b is 21 light-years from the Earth.
According to space scientists, to date, astronomers have discovered more than 3,200 confirmed alien planets, with NASA’s Kepler space telescope responsible for about two-thirds of the finds. Researchers say Kepler’s work suggests that on average, every star in the Milky Way hosts at least one planet.
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This has been announced by other sources than Der Spiegel, however mostly in the scientific community. The reason it has not been widely announced yet is because there should be 3 separate sightings of an object to make sure it is really there and not an anomoly. This planet has been only sighted twice unless a third one has been made in the last couple of days;although I have not heard about it. It is in fact in the habitable zone but water has not been detected on it. To do so with current methods would require using a spectrograph to determine what is in the atmospere, which would require the planet to be eclipsing the star at the time the spectrograph was taken. Just because a planet is in the habitable zone does not mean it automatically has water. A lack of an atmosphere or a very thin atmosphere could make water disappear quite rapidly on a cosmological scale. Determining whether or not aliens exist there or not would probably require sending a probe out there which with current technology would be about a 20 year travel time once one is built and assuming nothing goes wrong. Other than detecting a radio signal or some other sort of unnatural signal coming directly from the planet, this is pretty much the only way to determine if it is inhabited or not.
I want to know why all of these claims are reported as if they are factual. None of these scientist have traveled to any of these planets,and you cannot convince me that they can tell if a planet is habitable by looking at it from a telescope.Hogwash, all of it.A ploy to get more funding or grants. I don’t believe anything these so called scientist say.
Ordinarily I’d say yeah, let’s get that probe on its way. But look at the pathetic attempt made on Titan with the Huygens probe. Until we can do better there, or at Europa, what’s the point?
Funny enough just before i read this article i heard that in 2040 NASA is planning a submarine visit to Titan and Europa to explore their seas
There is something ironic about not being able to post anonymously on an anonymous website… Hmm.. conspiracy? Illuminati?
Don’t tell NASA they will it’s fake a refection off the ocean or the moon. NASA has no maybe or we hope it does dreams the only dreams they have is to fake every thing. You ever notice the pictures Saturn an Pluto you could find a needle in hay stack they were so clear but i said but they take pictures of Mars or the Moon you would think they had a the worst photo person, you can’t see nothing they cant even take a good picture of the moon in a space craft 500 above it. You know when you are out side looking at the moon with a telescope you can see it very good but when we went to the Moon Nasa has the earth dime size now we all know thats fake evevn a fifth graders know the earth is bigger than a dime from the moon. Whats wrong NASA something we are not suppose to see it’s earth it’s not the right size NASA i got one picture that shows North American real big and then a week later they show it real small all from the same place the last picture was taken at the Moon wow how did it shrink it can’t NASA faked another photo shoot just like they do all picture. I use to belive in NASA but i don’t anymore.