In January, Kepler-438 b was touted as the most Earth-like planet ever discovered. As it orbited its star within the habitable zone, it was seen as a potential home for alien life.
But now a press release issued by the University of Warwick suggests that the planet doesn’t even have an atmosphere:
“The most Earth-like planet could have been made uninhabitable by vast quantities of radiation, new research led by the University of Warwick has found.”
Kepler-438b orbits a red dwarf in the constellation Lyra some 470 light-years from us. Slightly bigger than Earth, it orbits its sun in 35.2 days.
It seems to be too close to a hot object:
“The atmosphere of the planet, Kepler-438b, is thought to have been stripped away as a result of radiation emitted from a superflaring Red Dwarf star, Kepler-438.
Regularly occurring every few hundred days, the superflares are approximately ten times more powerful than those ever recorded on the Sun and equivalent to the same energy as 100 billion megatons of TNT.”
The naturalistic worldview needs habitable exoplanets. It rejects the idea that Earth is special, and wants to see alien life wherever it is possible.