a rocky plant in transit only 21 light years

The discovery of exoplanets has accelerated in recent years, in the hope of finding in another galaxy a planet potentially welcoming for a form of life or, failing that, to serve as a refuge for ours if this were necessary in a few millennia.

Thanks to recent means, many exoplanets have indeed been discovered but most of them are mainly gas balls orbiting stars. The astronomers of the University of Liège still found in our "suburb" near a rocky planet. whose existence has been confirmed by NASA's Spitzer telescope.

NASA Cassiopee rocky planet

Baptized HD 219134b and located 21 light years from Earth, on the side of the constellation of Cassiopeia (the constellation in W close to the polar star), it becomes the closest telluric planet detected, with the particularity of passing regularly between the Earth and its star, according to a phenomenon of transit which greatly interests astronomers and will allow a more detailed study than other exoplanets even closer but not carrying out this transit.

The first measurements show that HD 219134b is about 1.6 times the size of the Earth and has a similar density. The observations to come should make it possible to determine the characteristics of its atmosphere and its surface conditions.

Unfortunately, it is located too close to its star, around which it revolves in just three days, to be in the "habitable zone"from its sun, suggesting that it is a world a priori devoid of any life.