‘Super Earth’ In Our Backyard:  Planet 3.2 Times The Earth’s Mass Discovered In The Orbit Of Barnard’s Star 

Swarajya Staff

Nov 16, 2018, 04:56 PM | Updated 04:56 PM IST

Artists impression of the celestial body (@ESO/Twitter)
Artists impression of the celestial body (@ESO/Twitter)

A ‘super-earth’ 3.2 times the mass of our home planet has been discovered in the orbit of Barnard’s star B, Agence France Presse has reported. Barnard’s star lies at a distance of six light years from our sun.

Barnard’s star is a red dwarf. As it is cooling and emits less light, it is relatively difficult to detect any bodies in its orbit. The Barnard’s star is almost twice as old as our sun.

The planet, known for now as Barnard’s Star b is the second nearest planet to Earth outside the solar system. The planet receives less than two per cent of the energy received by the earth. The planet’s surface temperature is minus 170 degrees (which is too cold to support life). It orbits its host star once every 233 days.

Ignasi Ribas from the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia and Spain’s Institute of Space Sciences said that the planet does not have water or gas. Even if it is present, it would be in frozen form according to the scientist. It has been assumed that the planet does not support any life.

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