Astrophysicists consider mysterious signals - formerly discharged as stellar bursts - are coming from an Earth-like planet. The Gliese 581d planet has circumstances that could sustain life, and is possibly a rocky world, twice the size of Earth. Signals from the planet were primarily detected in 2010, but last year discharged as noise from distant stars.
Now, an additional study claims that the 2014 investigation was based on insufficient analyses of the data and that Gliese 581d does exist.
Last year, Pennsylvania State University scientists said Gliese 581d - and its companion Gliese 581g - was simply a hoax of the light produced by magnetic bursts from a local star 22 light-years away. The new British research, though, contends the method utilized by the Pennsylvania team was only appropriate for large planets, and that it could miss small ones like GJ 581d.
The study, by Queen Mary University, London and the University of Hertfordshire, claims to use a more precise model on the present data.
“The presence (or not) of GJ 581d is important because it was the first Earth-like planet found in the 'Goldilocks'-zone around another star and it is a standard case for the Doppler technique” said lead writer, Dr Guillem Anglada-Escudé.
'There are always debates among researchers about the ways we understand data but I'm sure that GJ 581d has been in orbit around Gliese 581 all along. In any case, the strength of their declaration was way too strong.
If their way to treat the data had been right, then some planet hunt projects at numerous ground-based observatories would need to be considerably revised as they are all pointing to sense even smaller planets. One needs to be more cautious with these kinds of claims.
GJ 581d is supposed to be the first planet outside our solar system in the Goldilocks zone about its star – a region not too hot and not too cold for life. To discover Gliese 581d, University of California, Santa Cruz astrophysicists initially observed for delicate changes in light caused by the gravity of an orbiting planet pulling back and forth on the star.
The power of the tugging, they supposed, showed them a planet was about three times as massive as Earth. At the time, the finding of Earth-like planets around Gliese 581 caught the public imagination.
Gliese 581 (the bright star shown in the centre), which is 22 light-years away, has three other confirmed planets, none of which lie within its habitable zone
Documentary-maker RDF and social-networking site Bebo used a radio telescope in Ukraine to send a potent focused beam of information - 500 messages from the public in the form of radio waves - to Gliese 581.
And the Australian science minister at the time prepared 20,000 users of Twitter to send messages towards the distant solar system in the wake of the findings. Other exoplanets have before been doubted, most notably Alpha Centauri Bb, the closest Earth-sized world to us, which some researchers claim could just be noise in the data.
This post was written by Usman Abrar. To contact the writer write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Facebook