Planet GJ1132b is about the size of Earth, has a fairly thick atmosphere, and is only 39 light years from Earth.
New astronomers have discovered a rocky planet the same size as Earth, with a separate atmosphere. And a peculiarity is that this planet is only 39 light years away from us, which is much closer than the “twin” Kepler-452b (1,400 light years from Earth).
Specifically, this planet, named GJ1132b, is 1.2 times the size of Earth, mostly made up of rock and steel. It is the closest object to Earth among the rocky extrasolar planets that humans have discovered so far.
GJ1132b revolves around Gliese 1132 – a dwarf star, but at a much closer distance than Earth, only 2.25 million km away. Compared to Venus and the Sun, this distance is 26 times smaller.
Therefore, this planet only takes about 1.6 days to circle the star, and of course its surface temperature is much higher as well. It is estimated that GJ1132b has a surface temperature of around 230 to 300 degrees C, and is subjected to radiation 19 times higher than what the Earth has experienced.
This means that it is an uninhabitable planet. However, according to David Charbonneau, astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (USA), the planet is still “cold” enough to survive in a relatively dense atmosphere.
Early forecasts suggest that the planet’s atmosphere is mostly made up of helium and hydrogen. But if the planet had water in the past, its atmosphere could contain oxygen. However, scientists say this is not certain.
It appears that GJ1132b is a “twin” with Venus rather than Earth
In essence, the planet is like Venus in the solar system, Charbonneau said. He humorously shared, “We want to find the second Earth, but it’s more like Venus’ twin brother.