Located in orbit around a star in the constellation Aries, the planets-Teegarden b and Teegarden c, 12.5 light years away, contribute to the increasing list of possibly habitable extrasolar worlds.
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“The two planets resemble the inner planets of our Solar System,” – Mathias Zechmeister, astrophysicist and lead author of the research, said.
“They are only slightly heavier than Earth and are located in the so-called habitable zone, where water can be present in liquid form.”
Unbelievably, the star around which these planets orbit-despite their closeness-was only found in 2003 because it was difficult to recognize due to its dim appearance, tiny size and low mass.
“The planets Teegarden’s Star b and c are the first planets detected with the radial velocity method around such an ultra-cool dwarf,” the scientists have written.
“Both planets have a minimum mass close to one Earth mass, and given a rocky, partially iron, or water composition, they are expected to have Earth-like radii.”
However, it is probable that determining precisely what sort of atmosphere these planets have will involve the James Webb Space Telescope facilities that will not launch for another two years.
We can only speculate until then as to whether or not there might be life.