NASA's TESS exoplanet-hunter finds tantalizingly close Earth-size world with moderate temperature

"Though, importantly, the two teams behind the discovery of Gliese 12 b can't yet say for sure if it has an atmosphere. It therefore remains unclear if the world could be habitable, but the researchers have some cautious optimism."

Okay, approaching Gliese 12 b with caution here :) There was plenty of hope for K2-18 b but apparently faded now for finding evidence of biological life on that exoplanet,
A promising find! It will be interesting to see how the Habitable Worlds Catalog place it. My guess is that it's still beaten by Teegarden's star b with its smaller radius of ~ 1.05 R_E and more lukewarm surface (if an Earth analog atmosphere) of ~ 20 deg C. And Gliese 12b lies 4 times as far away.

There was plenty of hope for K2-18 b but apparently faded now for finding evidence of biological life on that exoplanet,
That was different since it was always unlikely that the first result would stand - each different pipeline that takes spectra and tries to estimate atmosphere composition will deliver slightly different results. The authors of that first paper knew that (since they had used multiple pipelines before) but they likely hastened to put out their result from using only one pipeline. It's understandable, it was the first methane detection and the first possible water world detection.

The inference of DMS is less robust and requires further validation. “Upcoming Webb observations should be able to confirm if DMS is indeed present in the atmosphere of K2-18 b at significant levels,” explained Madhusudhan.
  • Like
Reactions: rod
Something I note near the end of the report on Gliese 12 b. "..."I think Gliese 12 b will teach us a lot about life, but we can't say anything for certain. I think it's very exciting, and we should definitely look forward to more research coming out about Gliese 12 b," Palethorpe concluded. "It's not a bad place to start on a hunt for life." The two teams' research was published on Thursday (May 23) in The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and The Astrophysical Journal Letters"

The exoplanet sites are updated now with the data and properties. Example,

My note, Gliese 12 b is said to be 7 billion years old, far older than our Sun. Non-living matter evolving into life on this exoplanet, followed by nearly 7 billion years of evolution, perhaps today ET lives there and phones home from other locations in the galaxy too :)
May 29, 2024
Visit site
I just want to say I think science writers, and people in general, throw around the term "habitable" too liberally. Habitable by whom? If you mean "life could exist there" that's one thing, but people's minds quickly jump to the idea that habitable means "humans could live there." Although its radius is similar to Earth's, Gliese 12 b is 3.87 earth masses according to NASA's website. Even if it had a comfy temperature and a nice 02-N2 atmosphere, unless I'm seriously mistaken, the gravity would quickly kill a human. It just bugs me to read articles describing exoplanets several times as masive as Earth as "habitable." Please say "potentially life-supporting" or another more accurate term instead.

Latest posts