A team of scientists from MIT said they discovered a “Earth Earth” – a planet the size of Earth orbiting its star every 3.14 days on Earth.
Scientists then expanded the system using SPECULOOS, an international network of telescopes designed to hunt dwarf stars. “The planet is moving like clockwork,” Prajwal Niraula, an MIT graduate student and lead author of the recent paper in the Astronomical Journal, said in a statement.
“Everyone needs a little fun nowadays,” added co-author Julien de Wit, also from MIT. De Wit also wrote the appropriate title for the paper: “Earth: a 3.14-day Planet-size Planet from K2's Kitchen Served Warm by the SPECULOOS Team.”
While its mass is not yet established, scientists say that K2-315b is terrestrial, as is the Earth. But planet Pi is probably uninhabitable, because its tight orbit brings the planet close enough to its star to heat its surface very much.
K2-315b has a radius of 0.95 from that of Earth and orbits a cold, low-mass star that represents about one-fifth of the solar mass. The planet's orbit is quite tight and it surrounds the star at 81 kilometers per second, completing a complete rotation in just 3.14 days from Earth – from where is his name.
Unfortunately, its surface has an infernal temperature of 176 degrees Celsius. “This would mean that it would be too hot to be inhabited,” said Niraula.
“There will be more interesting planets in the future, just in time for JWST, a telescope designed to probe the atmosphere of these extraterrestrial worlds,” says Niraula. “With better algorithms, we hope that one day we can look for smaller planets, even as small as Mars.”