Findings Could Significantly Focus the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

By Aazam

An Earth-like planet orbiting an M dwarf – the most common type of star in the universe – appears to have no atmosphere.

This discovery could make a big difference in the search for life on other planets.

M-dwarfs are so ubiquitous, the discovery means that a large number of planets orbiting these stars may also lack atmospheres.

This planet orbits its star twice in a single day on Earth. It is slightly larger than Earth, and it is much closer to the Sun of its star than Earth.

Earth also loses some of its atmosphere over time due to the Sun, but volcanic emissions and other carbon cycling processes that have been lost.

Makes the loss barely noticeable by helping to replenish it. However, in greater proximity to a star, a planet cannot compensate for the lost amount.

Astronomers measured infrared radiation from the planet because its light was obscured during a secondary eclipse.

This type of eclipse occurs when a planet passes behind a star and the planet's light, as well as the light reflected from its star, is blocked.

The radiation revealed the planet's scorching daytime temperatures, which are estimated to reach 2,242 degrees Fahrenheit.

M dwarf stars have more luminosity and activity than the Sun, further reducing the possibility that planets around them could capture their atmospheres.