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An introduction to exoplanets
An introduction to exoplanets

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2.7  LHS 1140 system

LHS 1140 is an M dwarf star that is nearly ten times further away than Proxima Centauri, but this is still relatively a very close neighbour. What is significant about this nearby star is that it hosts two planets which transit, making it an ideal candidate for atmospheric studies in the near future, something that you’ll learn more about later this week. This also means that their densities can be determined: these planets are marginally bigger than Earth and have densities similar or greater to Earth’s so are almost certainly rocky. The first of these to be discovered in 2017, LHS 1140 b, is also the right distance from its star to have liquid water.

Another strong point in its favour is that LHS 1140 is a very inactive star, unlike many other M dwarfs like Proxima Centauri.

Described image
Figure _unit9.2.7 Figure 7  An artist’s impression of the view of the M dwarf star LHS 1140 from orbit around one of its planets, LHS 1140 b