One in a million - astronomers have discovered a unique planet similar to Earth

One in a million - astronomers have discovered a unique planet

Astronomers studying planets similar to Earth made a fantastic discovery – they were managed to find the "super-Earth", which they’ve already given the name "one in a million." Astronomers from the University of Canterbury comment that event. According to them, the discovery is a new rare super-planet, that locates near the center of the galaxy. It is one of the few that can be compared with the Earth in size, in orbit, and some other characteristics.

Lead author of the study Dr. Herrera Martin called the discovery of a new planet an incredibly rare event. Observations of the new planet took only five days, and that was enough to understand how unique it is. It was possible to discover it using a technical method called gravitational microlensing.

Gravity of the planet and its parent star led to the fact that the light from a distant background star was amplified in a special way. Telescopes mounted at different ends of the globe were able to measure the bending of light. Such experiments help identify to three thousand microlensing events each year.

This effect is observed very rarely and only at that moment when only one star out of million affects the galaxy. This microlensing habit was observed during 2018 and is designated as OGLE-2018-BLG-0677. The planet was observed using a telescope in Chile and Korean network of microlensing telescopes. It was possible to find it by the unusual form of the light flux.

Having made a computational analysis, astronomers found that the event occurred due to a star with a small mass. Astronomers intend to continue to study a particular planet. In addition to the similarities with some terrestrial characteristics, they, like scientists, are interested in the presence of certain chemical elements in the atmosphere of this planet, which can be considered as the basis for building blocks.

In addition, the question is whether there is water on this distant planet, similar to the Earth. Observations of it will continue with the help of three telescopes installed in Chile, Australia and South Africa.