Scientists have discovered a Super-Earth that is four times the mass of our planet and takes just 10.8 days to complete a whole year.
According to the American space agency NASA, the exoplanet, called Ross 508 b, was discovered using a new infrared monitoring technique. It is located 37 light-years from us. The Super-Earth “skims in and out of its star’s habitable zone”. And it revolves around a red dwarf star called Ross 508, just like our Earth orbits the Sun.
According to Space.com, the proximity of this Super-Earth to our planet means that it is ripe for atmospheric investigation which could help researchers determine whether life could exist around low-mass stars.
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Astronomers in Japan had first spotted the Super-Earth earlier this year in May. The findings were a part of the study titled “A Super-Earth Orbiting Near the Inner Edge of the Habitable Zone around the M4.5-dwarf Ross 508”.
As per the research, the exoplanet orbits the star at a distance that offers temperatures conducive to the formation of water on the surface of the planet. This indicates that Ross 508 b is the habitable zone of the star.
Researchers spotted the planet near a dim star using the Subaru Telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) in Hawaii. As the star is smaller in size than the Sun, Ross 508 b orbits it every 10.8 days. Moreover, Ross 508 is significantly dim, thus, the Super Earth experiences 1.4 times the solar radiation that Earth witnesses.
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According to the study, the Ross 508 is around 18% of the mass of the Sun which makes it the faintest and smallest star with an orbiting world.