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Primitive life on Barnard’s Star?

12 Jan 2019, 14:22 UTC
Primitive life on Barnard’s Star?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Artist’s concept of our inner solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars – in contrast to Barnard’s star and its planet, Barnard b. The planet is near its star, but the star is dim and doesn’t provide much heat. A new study probes the possibility for life on Barnard b. Image via Villanova University.
Here’s more exciting work regarding the newly discovered super-Earth exoplanet orbiting the legendary Barnard’s Star. This star is the closest single star (and now the second-closest star system) to our own sun at only six light-years away. Astronomers announced its new-found planet – labeled Barnard b (or GJ 699 b) – as recently as November, 2018. Last week (January 10, 2019) – at the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle, Washington – astronomers from Villanova University explained their new work showing that – although this world is likely cold (-170 degrees centigrade) – it could still have the potential to harbor primitive life.
Here’s the thing about Barnard’s Star b, whose mass is just over three times that of Earth. It orbits Barnard’s Star – a dim red dwarf – every 233 days, at roughly the same distance that Mercury orbits our ...

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