Scientists monitor signs of a planet in the habitable zone…Researchers believe there is a potentially life-sustaining planet orbiting a dying sun 117 light-years from Earth, and if this is correct, this will be the first time a potentially life-sustaining planet is orbiting such a star, which is named White Dwarf.
Scientists monitor signs of a planet in the habitable zone
According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail,” experts discovered a ring of debris embedded with moon-sized structures near the dying star, indicating a nearby planet in the “habitable zone,” where water can exist and it is neither too hot nor too cold for humans to survive.
A white dwarf is a dead star that burns hydrogen fuel. Because all stars, including our own, will eventually become white dwarfs, scientists believe their discovery may provide a sneak peak into what will happen to our solar system when the sun dies after billions of years.
The study’s lead author, Professor Guy Farihi of University College London (UCL), said the observation was entirely new to astronomers.
The researcher added, “This is the first time that astronomers have detected any type of planetary object in the habitable zone of a white dwarf.”
UCLA researchers used data from ground and space telescopes to measure the light from WD1054-226, a white dwarf in the Milky Way, and were surprised to find noticeable dips in the light corresponding to 65 evenly spaced clouds of planetary debris. Every 25 hours, it orbits the star.
The researchers conclude that dimming the star’s light every 23 minutes indicates that the structures have been kept in such a precise arrangement by a nearby planet, and that the region will be habitable for at least 2 billion years, including at least a billion years into the future.