Revealed: Seven Milky Way planets could harbour life
Habitable Exoplanets Catalog said it had far exceeded expectations in search for new Earth
An ambitious project to catalogue every habitable planet has discovered seven worlds inside the Milky Way that could possibly harbour life.
Marking its first anniversary, the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog said it had far exceeded its expectation of adding one or two new planets this year in its search for a new earth.
In recent years scientists from the Puerto Rico-based Planetary Habitability Laboratory that runs the catalogue have sharpened their techniques for finding new planets outside our solar system.
Chile’s High Accuracy Radial Veolocity Planet Searcher and the orbiting Kepler Space Telescope are two of the many tools that have increased the pace of discoveries.
The Planetary Habitability Laboratory launched the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog last year to measure the suitability for life of these emerging worlds and as a way to organise them for the public.
It has found nearly 80 confirmed exoplanets with a similar size to Earth but only a few of those have the right distance from their star to support liquid surface water - the presence of which is considered essential to sustain life.
Seven potentially habitable exoplanets are now listed by the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog, including the disputed Gliese 581g, plus some 27 more from NASA Kepler candidates waiting for confirmation.
Although all these exoplanets are superterrans are considered potentially habitable, scientists have not yet found a true Earth analogue.
Over the next year, the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog will go further in its analysis of the planets that could possibly harbour life, offering new visualisations and habitability assessments.
However, the team says the biggest impact over the next 12 months will come from new discoveries rather than deeper analysis of planets it has already found.
A spokesperson said: “A true Earth analogue or a potentially habitable exomoon would be big discoveries.”
“Certainly, this was the right time to start mapping the habitable universe around us.”
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company offers London's best photo booth ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Service Engineers ...
£50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an incredible opportunity for a ...
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Administrator is requir...