Alien life could exist on frozen & rocky ‘Super Earth’ 6 light years away, finds study - Times Now
Representative Image  |  Photo Credit: BCCL
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 Daily Mail.
According to scientists, the planet is believed to be extremely cold with temperatures around -150-degrees celcius 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,” Astrophysicist Edward Guinan was quoted by Daily Mail.
“We note 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,” he added.
The scientists also said that if water is present in the planet, geothermal heating could result in liquid water ‘life zones’.
“This much like Jupiter's icy moon Europa that is heated by tidal heating rather than from geothermal energy. Barnard's Star has been on our radar for a long time,” said Guinan.
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’
“Such observations will shed light on the nature of the planet's atmosphere, surface, and potential habitability,” said Guinan.
The closest star to the Bernard b is Alpha Centauri around four light years away.