Researchers believe that the planet named Gliese 581d, which was identified in 2010 orbiting around the star Gliese 581, does exist, Daily Mail Online reported. The planet is likely to be twice the size of our planet Earth and has life-supporting conditions.
In 2014, Pennsylvania State University researchers said that signals from Gliese 581d planet were, in reality, magnetic bursts from stars 22 light years away. However, according to the new British research, methods used by Pennsylvania researchers were not adequate for identifying small planets like GJ 581d.
Researchers at Queen Mary University of London and University of Hertfordshire have claimed to use a more precise model on the existing data.
“The existence (or not) of GJ 581d is significant because it was the first Earth-like planet discovered in the ‘Goldilocks’-zone around another star and it is a benchmark case for the Doppler technique,” Dr Guillem Anglada-Escude, lead author of the study, said.
He further said, “There are always discussions among scientists about the ways we interpret data but I’m confident that GJ 581d has been in orbit around Gliese 581 all along. In any case, the strength of their statement was way too strong. If their way to treat the data had been right, then some planet search projects at several ground-based observatories would need to be significantly revised as they are all aiming to detect even smaller planets. One needs to be more careful with these kind of claims.”