Universe Guide

Two planets in orbit round Teegarden`s Star

Teegarden's star is a mere 12 light years away which might sound quite far but compared to other stars in the galaxy, it's a neighbour. A space ship travelling at the speed of light would take 12 years to reach. Unfortunately, we don't have technology that would get us there and back, all we can do is study it for now.

Teegarden's Star is named after the N.A.S.A. team leader who discovered the star in 2003. The star is located in the Zodiac constellation of Aries the Ram.

Its not the first tiny star that's been found to have planets in orbit round it Its easier to find a planet in orbit round a smaller star than a larger star because of the pull and effect that a planet has on a star. Even though a planet is tiny compared to a star, a planet will still be able to pull a star causing to slightly wobble. This method is known as Radial Velocity and it was used to discover these two planets.

We have found planets around closer stars such as the one orbiting Proxima Centauri. Sadly, we know for sure that no life could possibly exist on Proxima's planet because the star is a Flare Star. A flare star is a star that ejects large amounts of plasma. The plasma that is ejected from the star would destroy any atmosphere and incinerate any life on the planet.

It was announced in a paper placed on the Astronomy and Astrophysics website that two planets had been discovered in orbit round the planet. Also adding to the excitement is that the planets were found inside the Goldilocks Zone, an area which is not too hot and not too cold for life to exist.

The star is a small cold star and therefore the planets would be orbiting closer to the planet than Earth is. A year on one of the planets is a mere 4 days so you'd probably be seeing out a whole a season in a day. You'd aged considerably quicker as a year is shorter.

You would not be able to see the star just by looking up at the sky. The star is too small to see, you would need a telescope that was at least 8m in diameter, not something you could buy off Amazon if you had the money.

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