Scientists Discover Earth Sized Twin Only 22 Light-Years Away

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Discovery of Closest Earth-sized Exoplanet

Scientists in the US have discovered the closest Earth-sized exoplanet, named LTT 1445 Ac, located just 22 light-years away.

Similarity to Earth

Although too hot for life, LTT 1445 Ac's Earth-like features make it valuable for studying planetary evolution and understanding the differences between Earth-like worlds.

TESS Telescope Data

The exoplanet was identified using data from the TESS exoplanet-hunting telescope in 2021, but observational challenges initially left uncertainties about its properties.

Trinary Star System

LTT 1445 Ac orbits one of three stars in a trinary system, posing challenges for observation due to the gravitational effects of stellar companions on light.

Measurement Techniques

Scientists use two types of measurements to understand exoplanet properties—transit data and radial velocity data.

Transit Data

Tiny dips in starlight during an exoplanet's orbit help calculate its radius, providing insights into its size.

Radial Velocity Data

Changes in starlight wavelength due to gravity tugs reveal the exoplanet's mass, allowing scientists to determine its density.

Density Determination

Combining mass and radius data helps scientists infer the exoplanet's density, providing clues about its composition.

Gas Giants vs. Rocky Planets

Low density suggests a gas giant with a diminished atmosphere, while higher density indicates a rocky composition similar to Earth, Venus, Mars, or Mercury.