Astronomers Locate “Super-Earth” Planet in Its Host Star’s Habitable Zone

In a recent discovery, astronomers discovered an exoplanet or a super-Earth 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 faint to be seen with the naked eye. . Astronomers have noted that the planet exists in the habitable zone of its host star. The findings are part of a study titled “A Super-Earth orbiting the inner edge of the Habitat Zone around the dwarf star M4.5 Ross 508”.

The research was accepted for publication in the journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan. The planet, Ross 508 b, orbits the star at a distance whose temperature is favorable for water formation on the planet’s surface. This suggests that Ross 508 b is in the star’s habitable zone.

However, just being in the habitable zone doesn’t mean the planet will support life. Even Mars located in the habitable zone of Sun but still unable to sustain life. Considering the planet’s mass limit, Ross 508 is more likely a terrestrial or rocky planet than a gaseous planet.

Researchers were able to detect the planet near a faint star using the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s (NAOJ) Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. Since the star is smaller than our Sun, Ross 508 b orbits it every 10.75 days. Furthermore, Ross 508 is considerably dim and therefore Ross 508 b experiences 1.4 times the solar radiation that The earth witness.

Ross 508 is 18% of the Sun’s mass, making it the faintest and smallest star in the world’s orbit that has been detected using radial velocity. The radial velocity method or the oscillation or Doppler method is one of the techniques used to search for alien planets.

The techniques used to locate alien planets are more effective in finding giant worlds such as gas planets orbiting at a distance too hot for liquid water. Determining the positions of other types of planets is considered more complicated by astronomers.

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