A planet that is more than three times larger than the Earth, the so-called super earth, has been discovered in orbit around one of our closest stars.
The illustration of how a planet that revolves around Barnard's star can look like.
The newly discovered planet revolves around Barnard's star, located at a distance of six light years from the nests of the sun, in a galactic perspective. This is the second closest planet that has been discovered.
The celestial body is described as frozen and slightly illuminated and passes the star in 233 days. Barnard's star is a star of the red dwarf and is estimated to be nearly twice as old as the sun. That's why its light is much weaker, which made it difficult to discover the planet.
It also means that it gets about two percent more energy than its star until Earth gets the sun. Accordingly, the surface temperature is estimated to be approximately minus 170 degrees Celsius.
– Definitely not in the narrow zone, there is no liquid water. If there is little water or gas, it is probably in solid form, so we call the planet frozen, says one researcher behind the discovery of Ignasi Ribas at the IEEC Space Center in Spain.
The planet is 3.2 times larger than the earth, but what makes up the mass is difficult to determine.
"We've seen planets with this mass of rock, which means it can look like a solid-state land, perhaps with an atmosphere or some frozen layers on top," says Ribas.
– Or maybe what we call mini-Neptune, as a reduced variant of gas giant in our solar system.
The only known planet closer to us is Prokima b, which is located in the four light years in the star system Alpha Centauri.