Astronomers discover ‘super-Earth’ six light years away

Katie Ramirez
November 18, 2018

The astrophysicists believe that the discovered object is a dimly lit "Super-Earth." the planet is huge, cold, more than 3.2 times massive compared to our earth and is just six lights-year far from earth.

The planet, Barnard's star b, and its host star are located six light-years from Earth.

Barnard's Star is the second-closest red dwarf star to our solar system (after Proxima Centauri), at 30 trillion miles from Earth. Data subtle changes - using of existing scientific instruments can be registered with great accuracy.

"After a very careful analysis, we are over 99 percent confident that the planet is there", lead author Ignasi Ribas of Spain's Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia said in a statement. Only the Alpha Centauri triple system is closer.

Confirmation of Barnard's Star b is unlikely to come from additional radial-velocity measurements, Diaz wrote.

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Barnard's Star is about twice as old as Earth's sun, one-sixth as massive and just 3 percent as luminous. Planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system are called exoplanets.

Barnard's star appears to move across the Earth's night sky faster than any other star. The potential planet is likely very cold, with an estimated surface temperature of about minus 275 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 170 degrees Celsius), study team members said.

This exoplanet was flown in orbit around the star Proxima Centauri, distant 4.2 light years.

However, detectable signals of a wobble from Earth-sized planets tugging on their host star are faint, and largely swamped by noise generated by the boiling surface activity of the stars themselves. The researchers re-examined archive data obtained over a 20-year period, and added new observations with the latest generation of instruments.

It's really near and therefore if you have the hope - like I do - of eventually seeing these planets to study them in detail we have to start with the immediate ones. Barnard's star is the second closest star system, and the nearest single star to us. "We always have to remain a bit cautious ... but we were sure enough that we were willing to go forward with publication". "This is the result of a large collaboration organized in the context of the Red Dots project, which is why it has contributions from teams all over the world including semi-professional astronomers coordinated by the American Association of Variable Star Observers".

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