Exoplanets Discovered In Habitable Zone of Teegarden’s Star – ‘Only 12.5 Light Years Away’

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Teegarden’s star is an astronomical oddity, a main sequence star close to the Earth which was undiscovered until 2003. Yesterday a team looking for evidence of exoplanets around small stars revealed observations that suggest 2 planets near this small star. The periods suggest they could be similar to the mass of the Earth and orbiting in a region where the star’s light is just right to maintain liquid water.

Visualizations using Space Engine and Universe Sandbox 2.

  1. Steve Plegge

    0.9 solar mass and it’s a red dwarf?

  2. David Gifford

    Tidally locked is a big problem for potential habitability. Worse all low mass stars are periodic flare stars. These planets would be sterilised frequently on planetary time scales. But still in the “habitable zone” right?

  3. flip66five

    Maybe do a video on how it would take about 200,000 years to get there…

  4. Ted zmuide


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  6. Yoda ehehe

    12.5 lightyers is that a guess?

  7. Wally Mayo

    Sorry. The star just won’t do for even bacterial life. The small and cool star is ruled out. For host stars with an effective temperature more than 7,100 K (7,100 °C above absolute zero) or less than 4,600 K, even for just microbes, a team of four Chinese astronomers showed that the liquid water and ultraviolet habitable zones will not overlap. That may seem like a fairly wide effective temperature range, but it is narrow enough to eliminate all but 3 percent of the Milky Way Galaxy’s stars. Later Japanese researchers found an even narrower range, by factoring in the metallicity of a star. Jianpo Guo et al., “Habitable Zones and UV Habitable Zones around Host Stars,” Astrophysics and Space Science 325 (January 2010): id. 25, doi:10.1007/s10509-009-0173-9. Then there is planetary electric field factor, which disallows life there. Keep looking, but this ain’t it.

  8. Brandon Ruth

    A few times Scott mentions this star and others as “brown dwarfs” but I think he means red dwarfs

  9. Adlin Ling

    Of course.

  10. Simon Voigt

    29 people don’t like objects in space.

  11. randomnickify

    Sooo it is Krypton? Can we expect invasion any time soon?

  12. Wellington Ironman

    Scott. A paper describing the likely orbital motions of the three goldilocks planets of the trappist system has just been released. It talks about them not being tidally locked and having somewhat random orbital/rotational patterns. It’s hard though to picture it. Any chance of a similar explanation video please?

  13. Nymeria Gloves

    falcon heavy on Monday night :) hype

  14. Nathan Dehnel

    Teegarden looks like Vint Cerf.

  15. militant peace


  16. neo2264

    The rocket equation, it’s a beautiful thing. No astr-

  17. Max Konig

    Can’t wait for the Webb to go into action since it’s supposedly powerful enough to find planets that are basically in our cosmic backyard. We should focus on stars that are fairly weak compared to our sun. Also, we should vigorously look at all of faint stars that are in the vicinity of at least 50 light years or less from Earth. There is a high probability that we might find intelligent life on one of those planets and I’m not embarrassed to say it.

  18. cmdraftbrn

    rather take my chances on alpha centuari. but im afraid of mindworms

  19. Sedaura

    *currently orbiting Saturn*
    Is that a wormhole ?
    Yes. It appeared 48 years ago.
    And it leads where…
    Teegarden’s star.

  20. aplacefaraway

    1:55 i really wish that paper had more authors

  21. Aquila Rossa

    I think something ever comes here from an advanced somewhere else it will probably be a robot AI gadget sent as a scout and disappoint us by not saying ‘take me to your leader’, but some folks will be cool with that if it does cute beeps like R2D2.

  22. El Kudos

    Millions of years old civilization surviving the eternal darkness.
    Morloks from outer space!

  23. oversoul

    “Tow see tie?”
    Tau ceti bro

  24. Axios .king

    It would only take us 10 times longer than Humanity has been around to get there no worries

  25. Raphael Brandão

    Everytime I see “exoplanets” I think: “where is James Webb telescope? Omg!”

  26. Christopher28fair

    Teegarden is the name of a dog park right near our house. Lots of strange-looking humans there.

  27. glenn goodale

    Well done

  28. Dan Schwerdt

    Awesome shout out to elite dangerous

  29. Draco Malfoy

    Wow , but tell me what’s your space application name?

  30. AirlessMICRO

    Solar day: *infinite*

  31. pathwayto enlightenment

    Call one of them Pandorra…

  32. Aaron G. Randall

    Always high quality and super informative! Keep up the great work! 😎👍

  33. Gangfire

    Very cool. On a whim I did the math to find out how long it would take to get there at 1G constant acceleration (accelerating to the halfway point and decelerating the rest of the way) — just under seven years. The shipping costs to send anything there must be insane. (At Warp 9 /Enterprise/ (take your pick) would take only 16.7 HOURS to arrive.)

  34. colin canton

    Where there are canals there is water where there is water there is life!! George dubya Bush speaking about Mars!! I kid you not!!! Canals!!! Man made waterways!!

  35. Docteur Flou

    Hoooooo, i am first ?

  36. Major Bollocks

    What a time to be alive isn’t it Scott! Don’t you feel we are on the cusp of something really REALLY awesome? I hope I’m still alive when we take that “next step”.

  37. Fred Derf

    Wait, there are two earth-like worlds only 12.5 light years away? What the f are we waiting for, lets go!

  38. ori kes

    only *****

  39. LlamaMusicChannel


  40. John A

    12,5 light years away? Alcubierre warp drive seems like the only way to get there in a reasonable time.

  41. Tre_Gaming

    Alien looking for exoplanets:(sees our solar system) “We have discovered a star with 3 planet in the habitable zone (not knowing anything about the solar system they assume that Venus and Mars are like earth)

  42. I'm Your President

    Beings dwelling on Teegarden B “I wonder if theres life out there.” ….
    Looks toward our sun. Not knowing we are looking right at their planet.

  43. TheAllegiantTraitor

    7:20 Isn’t 229.7 g a bit too much for a brown dwarf?

  44. James Harmer

    I think you need to add a zero to your mass description. Teegarden’s Star is 0.08 Solar Masses. At 0.8 Solar Masses it would be visible in the constellation of Aries. It seems to be very small for a star, only just above a brown dwarf in size.

  45. Otto Lehikoinen

    I’ve learnt the star name as Teagaarden.

  46. AdamosDad

    Red dwarf stars tend to be active, so the planets are more than likely bathed in deadly radiation.

  47. Thijs B

    3:15 – Would an ecosystem work on a tidally locked world? I guess very much centered around the day/night line?
    But would it allow for advanced life?

  48. Tim Keller

    12 light years means they’re getting our tv and radio broadcasts for quite a long time.

  49. Radrook

    186,000 miles per second for a total of approx twelve years distant? Close by? LOL!

  50. MrTryAnotherOne

    “Only …”

  51. L Legen

    @1:20 that should be point zero eight right?

  52. wontingthetruth

    That awesome. I do know how to get humans there in our lifetimes and probably and satelite there even faster. We should do it!!!

  53. nofaithjusthope

    Only 12.5 light years?…are they selling tickets? Only 12.5 years (traveling at light speed) and just how fast does our current star fleet travel 17,000 mph? … so it might take awhile.

  54. Kevin Reardon

    We need to see the atmosphere at least.

  55. Phips

    #Notificationsquad 🙌

  56. poodypooroo

    Looks like space engine’s going to get a Steam release that will include a flight sim, planning on reviewing that when it comes out?

  57. Thorsten Frank

    12.5 light years. That´s astronmical really close – now we just need Alastair Reynold´s Lighthuggers…..

  58. TpzBla

    I usually swear at brown dwarfs in elite because the game some times drops you so close to the dang things and you have to react quickly to keep from dropping out of supercruise.

  59. tbarcello

    2:45 that’s not a star, that’s the second planet represented as a star by Space Engine.

  60. tim van rijn

    The tea gardens should be named for tea variation.
    Rosemary and jasmin

  61. Jay The Amazing Toaster

    4:20 Scott you do bring up an interesting point that’d be cool to do a video on eventually. The topic of how many stars that have planets that can see us in comparison to the amount of planets we can see with this method.

  62. MWSin1

    There was a study recently that suggests planets around red dwarfs warm enough to not be ice worlds would most likely have lost their volatiles to tidal heating. So red dwarf water worlds would be unlikely (assuming the study proves accurate).

  63. Andreas Fris

    Teegarden is the 26th nearest star to the sun if I counted right.

  64. The Algorithm

    Imagine your address being Teagarden 6 or something

  65. George Malekos Jr

    Opps..Wally Schirra *

  66. Aussiebloke0001

    About 40km from here is a town called Tea Gardens. From your description of the Teegarden’s planets I’m pretty sure they’re the same thing, right down to the inhabitants. Tea Gardens has an adjacent town called Hawkes Nest and they’re separated by a river so you could say they’re tidally locked. We should send an invasion force now.

  67. George Nelson

    Scott: IF these two stars are gravitational binaries, WHAT is their orbital period?

  68. Karl Brundage

    On another channel reporting on this the commentator stated that the star was too small to produce flares, therefore the system had a better-tan-average chance for life on the two planets.
    Can you confirm or refute this?

  69. Austin Bartose

    Now we just got to figure out how to travel at the speed of light…

  70. Acromantula 92

    You can press “V” to change to a realistic lighting. Also Pge Up zooms

  71. Nathan Holt

    This combined with some things iv been reading give me a question.
    How would living orbiting the different types of stars effect humans biologically?
    Would we have issues with say for example star that emits blue light.

  72. Gerg C

    Look beyond the habitable zone for potential ancient civilization evidence.

  73. lutzy Pohlodtko

    If the planets are locked theirs a very good chance that the planets are alive with volcanic activity. Just like the moon keeps the earth alive, with an atmosphere.

  74. root42

    I wonder why the brown dwarfs in Elite: Dangerous are rendered dark purple. Is that accurate, or is Space Engine more correct with its visuals of glowing, striped Jupiter-like stars?

  75. BronillaBear

    Have there been exoplanets discovered that show signs of trees?

  76. Martijn Boerkamp

    I hear a low luminosity red dwarf can’t output enough radiation to burn off carbon monoxide to provide a stable atmosphere even if b or c are Earth-like but cool discovery! :)

  77. Cycle Green

    Cheers Scott, along with the darts, another good evening on You tube :)

  78. David Sims

    1:23. I think you left off a significant zero in the estimated mass of Teegarden. It’s probably more like 0.08 to 0.09.

  79. Anthony Irtelli

    You can change the exposure mode in Space Engine from HDR. This will make most stars disappear from the surface of a planet as in real life.

  80. Topi Lajunen

    If we find intelligent life there, we’d wish the guys name was Beergarden.

  81. MindSET

    Out there there is a civilization looking at our sun saying it has two habitable planets that have life on them.

  82. Peter Palumbo

    When people talk about habitable exoplanets they usually leave out 1 gravity field. From where I stand this is the 1st or 2nd most important thing. We evolved in a 1g field and we function best in a 1g field.

  83. nagualdesign

    Interesting point you made about clever amateurs pouring over scientific data and making valuable discoveries. Michele Dougherty of the Cassini-Huygens team was on TV the other night saying much the same thing about the data they collected, estimating that we could still be making discoveries for the next 30 or 40 years. I think they ought to make a Zooniverse-style website.

  84. SpacialKatana

    If you double tap the move to object key you zoom there a lot faster Scott :)

  85. David Turner

    Imagine if we had a second Earth in our orbit. How fun would that be?

  86. Zoltán Pósfai

    That star that “should not be visible” is the other planet. Given their proximity, I would not outright rule it out that it can be visible…

  87. Sarah Lane

    Great videos very informative thanks :) what is the game or program you are using in this video I would really like to get this myself.

  88. Velocityraptor

    Sadly the star is too dim to take photos of the planets….

  89. Pray for Mojo

    How do space engine and universe sandbox keep up with all the new discoveries?

  90. Sarcalogos Tortolero

    Is very close?? Only 12 lightyears MUST GET MORE RESEARCH

  91. zlozlozlo

    The guy’s name is Bonnard John Teegarden :D. This guy is the opposite of people with crazy middle names, only his middle name is normal :D

  92. Sakkura1

    1:21 You mean point _zero_ eight/nine solar masses? Otherwise it should be a yellow dwarf like the Sun.

  93. Jeffrey Bue

    This is by far the best “space” YouTube channel. Thanks for continuing to produce excellent content Scott.

  94. Mitchz95

    The fact that we didn’t discover this system until 2003 just blows my mind. Does this mean there could conceivably be stars or brown dwarves even closer to us than Alpha Centauri?

  95. John Długosz

    Scott: I think you should be correcting this common assumption, not repeating it. The close-in body will be in a spin-orbit resonance, but not necessarily 1:1 (“locked”). In fact, an odd half multiple is more stable in wide variety of conditions, in particular if the orbit is at all eccentric or the body is not a perfect sphere.
    Look at our own planet Mercury for your exemplar. It is 3:2, *not* 1:1.

  96. MrVipitis

    I think the greatest amateur astronomer story I know is somebody discovering a galaxy while doing astrophotography.

  97. Bosstown Dynamics

    You absolutely can do good science with telescopes accessible to ameteurs. There were some recent observations made of dramatic changes in Jupiter’s red spot for instance by an ameteur in Australia that are relevant for our understanding of the storm. The trick is that the advanced systems used for high level research astronomy can’t sit staring at one planet forever, whereas ameteurs aren’t restricted by limited observation time so they can capture changes over time better.

  98. The Exoplanets Channel

    Amazing discovery! It is the exoplanet with the *highest Earth Similarity Index* discovered so far: 95%.

  99. Silt

    1:22 you’re off by a factor of ten! 0.08 solar masses, not 0.8

  100. Thomas Batista

    3:37 “Observation: Can’t see a thing. Conclusion: Dinosaurs.”

Comments are closed.