A team of astronomers has found the existence of K2-415b, an Earth-sized exoplanet circling an M dwarf star, just 72 light years away from Earth. According to a report by phys.org, K2-415b has a lot of similarities to Earth.
The research has been published in The Astronomical Journal.
An international team of astronomers led by Teruyuki Hirano of the Astrobiology Center in Japan wrote, "Small planets around M dwarfs are a good laboratory to explore the atmospheric diversity of rocky planets and the conditions at which a habitable terrestrial planet can exist."
Adding, "Being one of the lowest mass stars known to host an Earth-sized transiting planet, K2-415 will be an interesting target for further follow-up observations, including additional radial velocity monitoring and transit spectroscopy."
The astronomers found the new star when they were analysing data from the Kepler telescope. They confirmed the finding by studying data from TESS.
While studying the exoplanet, the researchers found that its size is very close to the Earth's, however, it has a much higher mass, phys.org report said. The exoplanet circles close to its host and take just four days to make one orbit.
Researchers say that such a close orbit puts it a little too close to be considered habitable, despite the host star is much cooler than the sun. But the planet does appear to have an atmosphere, which means it qualifies for further research. And it still appears possible that there might be other planets orbiting the host star, which means that the K2-415 star system will continue to be the focus of research efforts moving forward, the report said.