A team of astronomers using Japan’s Subaru Telescope have announced the discovery of another Earth-like exoplanet in their cosmic backyard.
The “super-Earth” planet discovered by planetary researchers led by Hiroki Harakawa is a relatively close neighbor, orbiting a star just 36 light-years away – that’s 2,1456983 x 1,014 miles.
Astronomers say the planet orbits in the so-called “Goldilocks region” of its parent star Ross 508.
Although Ross 508 is a small and relatively faint red dwarf star, the planet — called Ross 508 b — has an orbit much narrower than Earth’s.
Ross 508b has a minimum mass of four Earth masses and orbits its host every 10.75 days at a distance of about 0.053 AU – the Earth orbits the Sun at 1 AU.
An international team of astronomers discovered ROS 508b using the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. (Image: Ross 508b was observed by an international team of astronomers using the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.) Read more related articles Read more
Scientists believe Ross 508b may have originally formed Boch far from its parent star and migrated over millions of years.
Meanwhile, NASA will soon reveal a detailed look at two exoplanets they say are “very similar to Earth”. But it’s worth checking the fine print before packing your bags.
The surface of 55 Cancri E could be something like hell
The first is called 55 Cancri II. The extremely hot planet orbits the Sun near its parent star Mercury.
Although it is a rocky planet like Earth, its extremely high temperature means that it is likely covered with lakes of molten rock. Since 55 Cancri e is believed to have some form of atmosphere, lava can rain there every night.
The second exoplanet observed by the James Webb Telescope is called LHS 3844 b.
While it’s cooler than 55 Cancrièe, it’s probably not a great place to visit. Although it has a solid rocky surface, it has no discernible atmosphere.
The telescope will not be able to take pictures of Earth’s surface, and scientists will use other instruments to measure infrared signals and other data to try to determine its geologic makeup.
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