The newfound planet which is four times bigger than our Earth. And has excited scientists in search of life on other planets beyond ours- super earth
- The habitable zone is described the distance from a star at which liquid water could exist
- The planet is located about 37 light-years away from the Earth
- The average distance from its central star is 0.05 times the Earth-Sun distance
Super Earths are super cool, and you should really know about them. In short, they are planets slightly bigger than the Earth (hence the name). And the cool part? They might be a home for life, and they’re way easier to study than regular Earths.
Now, we might have some good news for all you exoplanet-enthusiasts. The Subaru Strategic Program — initiated in 2007 to produce outstanding scientific outcomes using Japan’s Subaru Telescope. Which has helped discover a super-Earth skimming the edges of the habitable zone of a red dwarf star. Just 37 light-years from our home planet!
Named Ross 508b, this ‘super-Earth’ is a rocky world with a mass around four times that of our Earth.
And a year on Ross 508b lasts for just 11 Earth days! This, of course, means that its orbit is not very large. Which is understandable because red dwarfs are a lot smaller than the Sun that centers our solar system.
But their smaller sizes mean that their gravitational fields are also not as expansive as the Sun’s. Therefore, Ross 508b revolves around it at a distance of just 5 million kilometres. Considering Mercury, for comparison, the planet is about 60 million kilometres from the Sun.
The short distance between this super-Earth and its red dwarf begs the question: how could it possibly be deemed habitable?
Well, the Ross 508b’s orbit is elliptical, meaning it isn’t always as close to the star, and pretty many dips in and out of the habitable zone.
A planet like this may be able to retain water on its surface. Whether or not water or life actually thrives there is still up for debate and some serious research.
In a recent discovery, astronomers have spotted an exoplanet or a super-Earth that is four times the size of our planet. The exoplanet named Ross 508 b revolves around a red dwarf star called Ross 508. Although the star is located just 36.5 light-years away, it is too dim to be seen with naked eyes. Astronomers have noted that the planet exists in the habitable zone of the host star.