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Scientists discover Earth-size planet that could sustain life

Scientists discover Earth-size planet that could sustain life

Technology
A newly discovered Earth-size planet that could sustain life is poised to become Earth's closest stellar neighbor in a cosmic "blink of the eye," scientists at the European Southern Observatory announced in a press release today. Ross 128 b is an exoplanet 11 light-years from our solar system, but it is moving closer and is predicted to become Earth's closest stellar neighbor in 79,000 years, scientists said. It is currently the second-closest temperate planet to Earth, after Proxima b. Every 9.9 days, Ross 128 b orbits a red dwarf star known as Ross 128. Ross 128 is relatively quiet and cool and has just over half the surface temperature of the sun, scientists said, which could make Ross 128 b conducive to life. The star Ross 128 is part of the constellation of Virgo. "Many red dwarf ...
Study reveals secrets of planet formation

Study reveals secrets of planet formation

Science
Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Scientists have discovered a new explanation for how young stars and their newborn planets avoid "radial drift," a phenomenon that can rob stellar systems of their planet-forming material.Most planets form as material coalesces in a star's circumstellar disk of dust and debris. But debris disks can also diffuse or be eaten up by their host star, and researchers have struggled to figure out why this doesn't happen more often.Gas in a circumstellar disk should exert a drag force on debris, pulling the dust inward where it is consumed by the host star. The process, called radial drift, can deplete the material a young stellar system needs to form and grow planets.But new images of the debris disk surrounding the star V1247 Orionis has offered scientists insights into how youn...
Black carbon persists across the planet, accelerating glacial melt

Black carbon persists across the planet, accelerating glacial melt

Science
June 30 (UPI) -- New research shows black carbon deposits vary across the planet, but persist in a variety of glacial ecosystems.Black carbon is the soot-like particulate matter released by the combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel and biomass -- through man-made processes, like the burning of coal, and natural means, like wildfires.Climate scientists are interested in black carbon because deposits among snow and glaciers affect melting rates. Black soot absorbs more energy than white snow and ice.Scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder recently conducted a global survey of black carbon deposits. Molecular analysis of the deposits helped scientists trace the sources of black carbon deposits and measure changes in deposition rates.On Greenland's ice sheet, researchers found evidence...