|A collage that summarizes the research|
Researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the University of Tokyo, and the Astrobiology Center have nailed down an important property of a potentially Earth-like extrasolar planet while it was in transit.
The team used the MuSCAT instrument on the Okayama Astrophysical Observatory’s 188-cm telescope to study the extrasolar planet, called K2-3d, discovered by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft in 2015.
The extrasolar planet is about 150 light-years away, 1.5 times the size of Earth, and closely orbits its host star in about 45 days. K2-3d is particularly important to scientists because there’s a chance it may foster extraterrestrial life. Calculations show that the temperature of the host star and the closeness of the orbit make for a warm Earth-like climate with the possibility of liquid water on the surface.
Astronomy: An Earth-like extrasolar planet could harbor extraterrestrial life