Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Large Frozen Planet Found In Star Only 6 Light Years Away

An artist's impression of the surface of a Super Earth planet that has been discovered orbiting the closest single star to our solar system in a handout Bone-crushingly cold Super Earth discovered orbiting nearby star
Cary Marshall | 18 November, 2018, 23:17

It is only about six light-years away from Earth. It has been dubbed a "super" Earth because it has an overall mass larger than the Earth itself and is at least 3.2 times the size, with a year equating to 233 days, Motherboard reports. The newly discovered super-Earth is the second closest known exoplanet to our planet and orbits the fastest moving star in the Earth's night sky.

This is the first time that this technique has been used to detect a planet this small so far away from its host star. In a recent investigation led by Ignasi Ribas of the Institute of Space Sciences in Spain, the team used new and archival data sourced from seven instruments across the world.

Despite relative closeness to Barnard's Star (0.4 times the distance between Earth and the Sun), the exoplanet receives little energy from its faded host: only 2 percent that which the Sun provides our Earth.

Barnard's Star B is the closest known exoplanet to us after Proxima b, whose announcement of the discovery made a big splash in August 2016. It is an extremely faint red dwarf, being just 3 per cent as bright as the Sun. The researchers studied the planet by combining measurements from several high-precision instruments mounted on telescopes around the world.

Earlier in the framework of the project Red Dots managed to find the planet in the nearest star to the Sun is Proxima Centauri. In fact, the surface temperature on Barnard's star b is speculated at around -170 degrees, so it defs doesn't sound like the ideal destination for an intergalactic getaway.

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"Or it may be what we call a mini-Neptune, like a scaled-down version of the gas giants of our solar system".

Follow-up observations of the newly discovered exoplanet are now underway. These wobbles affect the light coming from the star. The team also re-examined the data collected by different telescopes over the past 20 years. Barnard's star is the second closest star system, and the nearest single star to us.

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. "However, we must remain cautious and collect more data to nail the case in the future", Ribas said.

"We all have worked very hard on this result", said co-leader Guillem Anglada-Escude at Queen Mary University of London.

For astronomers, it is a "cold and dark world".

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