Kapteyn b

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Kapteyn b is an exoplanet that orbits the red dwarf star Kapteyn's star, located approximately 13 light years from Earth. Kapteyn b is within the estimated habitable zone of its star.[1] It is the closest suspected habitable exoplanet to our solar system.

The system itself is estimated to be 11.5 billion years old, substantially older than the sun's solar system.[1]

Discovery[edit]

The planet was first discovered by the HARPS spectrometer which is housed at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile. Further confirmations of the planetary detection where made at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and at the PFS Observatory, also in Chile.[1]

Methodology[edit]

The method of discovery involved observing and recording tiny wobbles in the star caused by the gravitational tug of its planets, using Doppler spectroscopy.[1]

Additional planet[edit]

One other planet has been detected within the same planetary system. It is designated "Kapteyn c" and orbits further out from the star, beyond the outer edge of the habitable zone.[1] It is considered to be too cold for stellar-light based life.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Found! Oldest Known Alien Planet That Might Support Life", Mike Wall, June 03, 2014, Space.com, http://www.space.com/26115-oldest-habitable-alien-planet-kapteyn-b.html