Newly Discovered Exoplanet May be Best Candidate in Search for Signs of Life

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An artist's impression of a newly discovered exoplanet.
Astronomers have found an exoplanet that has the right conditions for liquid water on its surface image credit: ESO).

A newly discovered exoplanet, LHS 1140b, is being called the "best place to look for signs of life beyond the Solar System." The reason is because of a confluence of factors: the planet is likely rocky, orbits a relatively quiet star, passes in-front of its star from Earth's point-of-view every 25 days, and likely has an atmosphere. At the moment, studying that atmosphere in detail is not possible; however, with the next generation of telescopes coming online in the coming years (TMT, ELT, JWST), exoplanet atmospheres will become the new science.

At the moment, we know of over 3500 planets orbiting stars other than the Sun; check out for up-to-date information. 

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Newly Discovered Exoplanet May be Best Candidate in Search for Signs of Life
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Jesse Rogerson, PhD

Jesse is a passionate scientist, educator, and science communicator. As an assistant professor at York University in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society, he teaches three classes: History of Astronomy, Introduction to Astronomy, and Exploring the Solar System. He frequently collaborates with the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and lends his expert voice to the Ingenium Channel. Jesse is an astrophysicist, and his research explores how super massive black holes evolve through time. Whether in the classroom, through social media, or on TV, he encourages conversations about how science and society intersect, and why science is relevant in our daily lives.