A study on stellar motion published in the British magazine “Nature” stated that a team of European astronomers discovered a Super Earth 6 light years away, a cold planet with a mass about three times that of the Earth, orbiting a star very close to us – —The movement of the red dwarf star Barnard’s Star.
Barnard’s star is actually older than the solar system. It is also the closest isolated star to the sun, only about 6 light-years away from the earth. Therefore, the area around Barnard’s Star has always been an important candidate target for humans to search for extraterrestrial planets, but for a long time, these searches have yielded nothing.
This time, astronomer Ignace Ribas of the Spanish Institute of Space Research (ICE) and colleagues analyzed the radial velocity data of Barnard’s Star recorded by multiple facilities over the past 20 years. They found that a low-amplitude signal appeared in the data every 233 days, and analysis suggested that this may indicate the existence of a “super Earth.” A “super-Earth” is a planet with a mass greater than that of the Earth but less than that of the ice giants (Neptune and Uranus) in the solar system. The mass of this newly discovered planet is at least 3.2 times that of Earth.
The research team concluded that the exoplanet’s orbit is close to Barnard’s star’s “snow line”, which is a zone where the temperature around the star is low enough for water to freeze on the material particles in the protoplanetary disk. This area is considered to be beneficial Planet formation.
In an accompanying News Opinion article, scientists from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina argue that Barnard’s Star’s proximity to the solar system and the relatively long orbit of the newly discovered planet make it the best candidate for further exploration Extraterrestrial planets are expected to bring new insights into planets outside our solar system.
Thousands of exoplanets have been discovered in the past 20 years, but the vast majority do not qualify as super-Earths. They are usually too far or too close to their stars.