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Alien life could exist on ‘Super Earth’ in a star-system close to Earth: Study

Bernard’s Star is about 9 billion years old, almost twice as old as the Sun, said the scientists. (Representational photo: Reuters)
A frozen planet, just six light years away from earth, could have the potential to harbour alien life, new research has claimed. The existence of the planet was confirmed after nearly 20 years of observations.

The planet, also dubbed as ‘Super Earth’, has been officially named ‘Bernard b’ and it was discovered by scientists orbiting the Bernard’s Star, reported sputnik news.

According to scientists, the planet is believed to be extremely cold with temperatures around minus 150-degrees Celsius and its core could be made of hot iron or nickel.

It’s enhanced geothermal activity could allow life to flourish.

Geothermal heating could support ‘life zones’ under its surface, akin to subsurface lakes found in Antarctica said Astrophysicist Edward Guinan, The Sun reported.

He added that the surface temperature on Jupiter’s icy moon Europa is similar to Barnard b but because of tidal heating, Europa probably has liquid oceans under its icy surface.

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The scientists also said that if water is present on the planet, geothermal heating could result in liquid water ‘life zones’.

Guinan said that much like Jupiter’s icy moon Europa that is heated by tidal heating rather than from geothermal energy.

Bernard’s Star is about 9 billion years old, almost twice as old as the Sun, said the scientists.

Guinan said that Bernard b could be imaged in the future by ‘very large telescopes’

Guinan also added that such observations will shed light on the nature of the planet’s atmosphere, surface, and potential habitability.

The closest star to the Bernard b is Alpha Centauri around four light years away.

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