Researchers from Bern and Mexico look for life in space
12 September 2023 12:21
Researchers from the University of Bern and the National Autonomous University of Mexico are working on a space project together. Their goal is to identify the first low-mass exoplanet orbiting a so-called brown dwarf. Brown dwarfs are astronomical objects that bridge the gap between the most massive planets and the least massive stars. The University of Bern has already been involved in the discovery of several brown dwarfs.
In their search for an exoplanet, the researchers will focus on Earth-sized planets, with the intention of investigating their origins and evolution, according to a statement. One focus is probing whether some of these planets could be potentially habitable. “We are living in exciting times as the discovery of life beyond Earth is next door and could happen within the next one or two decades," commented Brice-Olivier Demory of the University of Bern's Center for Space and Habitability in the statement.
The joint project of the University of Bern and the National Autonomous University of Mexico will start in September 2023 and span four years. It has received funding of 500,000 Swiss francs through the Swiss National Science Foundation’s SPIRIT program. This supports the exchange of knowledge between researchers from Switzerland and from select countries receiving developmental assistance. ce/ssp