Gliese 436c: "Neighbors Planet" Smaller than Earth

Astronomy Science ~ One more new planet candidates found. This time only 2/3 the size of Earth and is located not far from the Earth. Only ...

Astronomy Science ~ One more new planet candidates found. This time only 2/3 the size of Earth and is located not far from the Earth. Only within 33 light years. The nearest neighbor planet.

Planet is an object that moves around the star. In the Solar System, they move around the sun but that does not mean there is no other star on the planet. But to find planets as small as Earth or even smaller than the Earth is not an easy job. It takes a powerful tool to detect their presence. Kepler has proved its ability rides through thousands of planet candidates found that dozens of them categorized as small as Earth.

This time, Spitzer observed transiting exoplanets that have been discovered in the system of the red dwarf star Gliese 436 in the Leo constellation. By the Kevin Stevenson from the University of Central Florida observe Gliese 436b, they actually found evidence of a strong presence of small hot planet with a very close distance. It turns out the allegations were not wrong. In the data Spitzer astronomers managed to see a "reduction" of infrared light coming from the star. And a decrease of light is different from the weakening aka flicker of starlight caused by GJ 436b.

Illustration GJ 436 planetary system: GJ 436c. Credit: NASA / Spitzer
Illustration GJ 436 planetary system: GJ 436c. Credit: NASA / Spitzer
Astronomers then examine the Spitzer data and discovered that the last flicker occurs periodically, indicating the presence of a planet orbiting another star and also deter small amount of light a star when the planet passes in front aka transit. The object that was originally a candidate exoplanets coded UCF-1:01 and later confirmed to be the Gliese 436c exoplanet or 2nd planet in the Gliese 436 system.

The discovery of Gliese 436c is also the first discovery for Spitzer. Which means providing new possibilities for Spitzer to contribute to find a planet that has the potential habitable or terrestrial-sized planets. The success Spitzer identify GJ 436c also be an indication that one day humans can recognize the character of the planet with the instruments that will be built in the future.

What is interesting from the GJ 436c planet? Which is a concern for many people is the size is only 2/3 the size of Earth and is not far only 33 light-years away. But the length of transit and at least weakening the starlight, astronomers managed to find out if the diameter 2/3 the size of the Earth with a revolution when only 1.4 days. This planet orbits a red dwarf GJ436 from a distance of 0,019 SA or much closer than Mercury to the sun. With such a close distance, no doubt GJ 436c surface temperature is more than 600ยบ Celsius.

There are other interesting things from the Gliese 436 system. Besides the two planets that have been discovered, astronomers also indicate the existence of 3rd planet candidates coded 1:02 UFC-orbiting GJ 436 are also suspected of having masses of 1/3 the mass of Earth.

There are still many mysteries to be solved of the universe. But it is expected in the future, one at a mystery that could be disclosed.

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AstroNation: Gliese 436c: "Neighbors Planet" Smaller than Earth
Gliese 436c: "Neighbors Planet" Smaller than Earth
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