Almeria telescope discovers planets similar to Earth

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STAR GAZING: The Calar Alto Observatory played an important part in identifying the planets. CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

SCIENTISTS have identified two planets not unlike Earth which just might be able to support life with images captured at Almeria’s Calar Alto Observatory and by two other telescopes in Spain.

A report published this week in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics revealed the planets have a similar mass to Earth, are warm, and could have liquid water on their surface.

The find was possible thanks to the Spanish-German CARMENES project, which since 2016 has searched for planets around nearby stars. The investigations have been carried out with the assistance of a high precision spectrograph installed on a 3.5-metre telescope at the Calar Alto observatory, which is located in the highest point of the province in the Filabres mountains.

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The two planets orbit the Teegarden star, a red dwarf much smaller and less bright than our sun and 12 light-years from our solar system, or just up the road in space terms.

Scientists have not ruled out the possibility there are more planets orbiting Teegarden.




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