"Now, with LHS 3844B, we have a terrestrial planet
outside our Solar System where for the first time we can determine observational that an atmosphere is not present."
Studying 147 extrasolar planetary systems with giant planets (with the parameters of these systems taken from NASA's exoplanet archive), Georgakarakos and colleagues found that, in most cases, the presence of "giant neighbors" would reduce a terrestrial planet
's chances to remain habitable, even when the terrestrial planet
is on a stable orbit.
formation models indicate Earth went through a sequence of major growth phases: initially accretion of planetesimals, planetary embryos, over many tens of millions of years, then a giant impact by a large proto-planet that led to the formation of our Moon, followed by the late bombardment when giant asteroids several tens to hundreds of miles in size periodically hit ancient Earth, dwarfing the one that killed the dinosaurs only 65 million years ago.
The planet was the first terrestrial planet
with an Earth-like orbit ever discovered in a binary star system, a common constellation of two stars orbiting each other.
Building a giant space telescope that can tell us--a terrestrial planet
finder--requires merely the will to do it.
Mars is a terrestrial planet
with a thin atmosphere and surface features similar to the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.
Astronomers have detected "warm" dust around a number of nearby stars that is thought to signify terrestrial planet
LBT thus promises to be an important tool in NASA's Terrestrial Planet
Finder project, scheduled to launch in just over a decade.
Those stars will become the focus of the Terrestrial Planet
Finder--a future NASA mission that will look around the stars for Earth-like planets.
But when Nasa's Terrestrial Planet
Finder and the European Space Agency's Darwin telescopes are launched they could open a whole new treasure trove of planets - possibly including some like our own.
Dr Guillem Anglada-Escude of Queen Mary University London, who led the 30-strong astronomy team, said: "Succeeding in the search for the nearest terrestrial planet
beyond the solar system has been an experience of a lifetime.
An additional way for a terrestrial planet
to achieve high amounts of heating would be to cover in a very thick ice shell, similar to an extreme "snowball Earth." and it was also found that some planets could move into a safer orbit about 10 to 100 times faster than previously expected.