"Super-Earth" has been discovered by orbiting the nearest single star to Sun, scientists said Wednesday in a development that could shine light on the nearest planetary neighbors of the Earth.
The Barnard Star astronomers, a red dwarf only six years ago, was slowly off – practically in our back garden, critically – and noted that the presence of "a world has frozen, unleashed" is at least 3.2 times much heavier no Earth.
The planet, now known as Barnard's Star b, is the second closest to the Earth outside the solar system and overlaps its star run once 233 days.
"It's important because of our neighbor next door and I would like to meet neighbors in general," said Ignasi Ribas, the Institute of Catalonia Places of Studies and the Spanish Space Sciences Institute.
Red dwarf darkness
Despite being relatively close to the star of a parent, the planet receives less than two percent of Earth's energy coming from the Sun, and it's A team estimates that a surface temperature of -170 degrees Celsius is too cold to support life as we know.
"Definitely, not in the living zone, no fluid water. If it has any water or gas, it's probably a solid form so that's why we call it freeze," said Ribas .
A humanity application to map the planets in the night's air, most of the historical research has focused on brighter, new, more and more light and rising stars A chance of scientists noticed anything that motivates them.
But as Seren Barnard is a red man, there's probably a small star and cooling about twice as much as the Sun, and it's a bit of light making it & # 39 ; n hard to find any bodies in its orbit.
To find Starard Barnard, Ribas and the team studied more than 20 years of comments from seven separate instruments.
A phenomenon called the Doppler effect was then used to track the impact of its gravity pulling on its parent star.
Servers can use this technique to measure the speed of the planet and, therefore, mass.
"We've all worked hard on this increase," said Guillem Anglada Escude, from Queen Mary University in London, who co-wrote the study published in Nature magazine.
The team worked with the Southern Observatory of Europe using astronomical instruments so accurately that they can find changes in star speed as small as 3.5km per hour – lightweight speeds.
Seren Barnard is believed to grow by space at around 500,000km / h, making it the fastest known object in the whole universe.
Ribas said that although stargazers could predict its size and orbit with relative accuracy using the Doppler effect, there would be any attempt at present to find out what the new planet would look like "guessing".
& # 39; Mini-Neptun & # 39 ;?
"Something boring in relation to properties. We have seen that this planets of this mass are rocky, meaning that it could look like the Earth with a solid surface with some atmosphere or some layer have to freeze up, "he said.
"Or maybe what we call mini-Neptune, as a version that has been graded down from our solar system gas giants."
It could be cold, anhospitable and all but invisible but the new planet has one thing going about: it's really close.
The only known exoplanet was discovered closer to the Earth in 2016 by specifying one of a cluster of stars in the Alpha Centauri system, just over four years lightly off.
"There are not so many stars in our near neighborhood. The investment found to be expensive," said Ribas.
"It's very close and so if you have the hope – as I do – seeing these planets are ultimately studying in detail, we need to start with & The ones that could just lead to possible possible discoveries. "