Super-Earth planet zips through the habitable zone of red dwarf star
Astronomers have discovered a Super-Earth located in the habitable zone of its Red Dwarf star. The only problem is that this planet keeps moving in and out of its habitable zone.
However, it still offers hopes of retaining water on its surface and could be an important target for future observation as the James Webb Space Telescope begins science operations.
Ross 508 b was discovered by the Subaru Strategic Program using the infrared
(IRD) on the Subaru Telescope (IRD-SSP).
The discovery is the result of a new focus being put on red dwarf stars which comprise three-quarters of the stars in our galaxy and exist in large numbers in the vicinity of our Solar System.
The zone at which liquid water may exist on the surfaces of planets in orbit is known as the habitable zone. In "Goldilocks" zones, neither it will be too hot nor too cold for life to flourish.
The planet revolves around a star that is 1/4th the mass of the Sun from Earth, 37 light-years distant. The planet sits near the inner border of the habitable zone, is 4 times as big as Earth.
Red dwarfs, as per researchers, are difficult to view because they are too weak in visible light, even though they are key targets for studying life in the Universe.
These stars have low surface temperatures of less than 4000 degrees. The only other star with a habitable planet discovered so far is Proxima Centauri b.