Jun 24 2019

More nearby potentially-habitable planets

Published by at 10:07 pm under Astronomy,T-Space

Last week it was announced that Teegarden’s Star, a red dwarf about 12.5 light years away, has not one but two roughly Earth-sized planets orbiting within its habitable zone. That doesn’t necessarily mean the planets are habitable, but they are at the right distance(s) for water to exist in liquid form, generally considered a prerequisite for habitability.

So far, most of the nearby, Earth-sized, potentially habitable exoplanets have been found orbiting small red dwarf stars. That’s more because they are easier to detect around such stars in the first place — their relative mass and closeness to their parent stars (needed to stay warm around such cool stars) means their gravity causes more wobble in the star, and if they pass between it and us, they cast a proportionately bigger shadow. There’s still hope for Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby Sun-like stars, we just would have difficulty detecting them with current techniques.

As I’ve noted in the T-Space books so far, the Terraformers apparently didn’t bother with anything around red dwarfs, so if I mention these new planets in my novels, they won’t be terraformed. They may, however, have been reshaped to resemble some other planet, one orbiting a red dwarf. There’s a hint of that in my soon-to-be-released The Centauri Surprise, but more on that later. 😉

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