Super-Earth discovered orbiting Suns nearest single star

Barnard's star b's surface

This frozen "Super Earth" is the second closest exoplanet which is familiar to science. One of those stars, Proxima Centauri, is orbited by a small planet, but the star's tendency to spew flares of deadly radiation means its planet is unlikely to be habitable. The climate is very harsh with an average surface temperature of -150 (or -238 Fahrenheit).

But the new discovery is exciting for other reasons.

The cold planet spins around the Bernard's star, our fourth-closest neighboring star overall, after Alpha Centauri's triple-star system.

Teske said that there are hints that there might be another planet around Barnard's Star, although it's hard to determine if the signal that investigators saw is from the star itself or from another planet.

The planet is red dwarf Barnard's inferior to the Sun's mass five times, and covered with ice.

The star it orbits is called Barnard's Star.

It's so damn close to us. That's why it wasn't discovered until 1916.

"With the radial velocity method, precision spectrometers are used to measure the Doppler effect". Barnard's star a little earlier than has interested scientists, however, because the minimum distance of six light years, the experts examined it. That's a bad combination; big 'scopes tend to be heavily utilized by astronomers.

This artist's impression pans over the surface of this freezing, shadowy world. However, if astronomers record observations of this starlight over many years, they may notice slight periodic frequency shifts. It was discovered as part of a project to find rocky planets around red dwarfs and the instruments used to do this-including the CARMENES (Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exoearths with Near-infrared and optical Échelle Spectrographs)-are specially created to do this. If the orbit has a different orientation, then the planet will be heavier. Most of the circles already stars in millions of light-years away. But, as it moves around, it's sometimes approaching us and sometimes moving away.

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That's what the astronomers looked for, and that's what they saw! Think on that for a moment: That's a slow walk! One thing we have learned through the exoplanet era is that, where one planet lurks, more are sure to follow.

Cold super-earth in our neighborhood, discovered page 2 - Would be worth a trip there? The snow line around any star is the distance beyond which water can not exist in a liquid state on a planet's surface. Studying Barnard's Star b will provide an insight into what sort of planets can form around these old red dwarfs. Any carbon dioxide there would be frozen solid, and even methane would be a liquid there.

And that's not really the point here, anyway. About 4,000 of such Exo-planets - solar systems, which are not our own - have discovered researchers in the past decades.

What is the point?

"Barnard's star is an infamous object among astronomers and exoplanet scientists, as it was one of the first stars where planets were initially claimed but later proven to be incorrect".

Barnard's Star formed way before our solar system existed. Barnard's Star b has a mass about three times that of Earth, but we don't know its size or composition yet. This implies these kinds of planets are very common. And in the not-so-distant someday when telescopes become capable of photographing planets around other stars, it may well be the first new world we see.

The discovery of Barnard's Star b was through indirect observations.

The implication is once again clear: The galaxy - the Universe - is filled with planets.

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