Active since 1990, but recently the Kepler can be said to have made the most important discovery in its history.
To complete the journey to find extraterrestrial life, there are 3 criteria which are considered the prerequisite key.
First, we need to find a planet roughly the same size as Earth. Second, it should be close enough. And finally, its orbit must pass through its host star at an angle that we can observe, thus studying the atmospheric composition.
Based on these factors, the new star GJ 9827 Kepler could be one of the most important discoveries in history.
As a result, the experts noticed that there were 3 “super-Earths” surrounding it. This star-planet system is 98 light years away from us, and is a very good candidate for studying their atmospheres.
“The first analysis shows that the group of planets of GJ 9827 are excellent candidates for studying the atmosphere” – quoted Prajwal Niraula of Wesleyan University (USA).
GJ 9827 is a star about 70% the size and mass of the Sun, Niraula said. The three planets (with the codes GJ 9827b, c and d) have dimensions that are respectively 1.75, 1.36 and 2.1 times larger than Earth.
According to previous studies, it was thought that 1.5 times the size of the Earth was the maximum threshold, before a planet was transformed into a gas globe. Thus, these three perfect numbers will allow us to observe how the planets change by size, on the same star system.
These are the closest planets found by Kepler. In fact, the planets brought by the telescope are closer, but mainly determined from the light disturbed by gravitational waves. Meanwhile, these three new planets originate from their passage through their host star at an angle that we can observe.
“This is one of the best targets for studying atmospheric composition, because the light hitting them is relatively clear.” – said Niraula.
“At least in the top 5, in our opinion.”
When we see light through the atmosphere, we can observe spectroscopy, determine the composition and thus determine what is behind this atmospheric layer. This is by far the best way to know the state of life on alien planets.
These are the final Hubble missions
It is also important to know that GJ 9827b, c, and d are more likely to be unable to support life, as the distance between them and the host star is either too close or too far away. But Niraula says their atmospheres are likely to still reveal a lot of information, like the case of Venus in the solar system.
In operation since 1990, they can be considered as the latest discoveries in Hubble’s history. In the near future, the next-generation James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be replaced.