‘Super Earth’ exoplanet spotted orbiting star 36.5 light years away

A team of astronomers using Japan's Subaru Telescope has announced the discovery of yet another earth-like exoplanet that’s in our cosmic back yard..

The “super-Earth” planet discovered by planetary researchers led by Hiroki Harakawa is a comparatively near neighbour, orbiting a star that’s just over 36 light-years away – that's 2.1456983 x 1014 Miles.

The planet orbits in the so-called “Goldilocks zone” of its parent star, Ross 508, the astronomers say.

While Ross 508 is a small, and comparatively dim red dwarf star the planet – designated Ross 508b – has an orbit much tighter than the Earth’s.

Ross 508 b 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.

The scientists believe that Ross 508b may have originally formed Buch farther out from its parent star and migrated over millions of years.

Meanwhile NASA will soon unveil a detailed look at two exoplanets that they say “closely resemble the Earth”., But it’s worth checking the small print before you start packing your bags.

The first of them is named 55 Cancri e. The super-hot planet orbits closer to its parent star than Mercury does the Sun.

While it’s a rocky planet like the Earth, the incredibly high temperatures on its surface mean that it’s probably covered in lakes of molten rock. Because 55 Cancri e is thought to have some form of atmosphere it could well rain lava there every night.

The second exoplanet observed by the James Webb telescope is called LHS 3844 b.

While it’s much cooler than 55 Cancri e it’s probably not a great place to visit. While it has a solid rock surface it has no detectable atmosphere.

The telescope won't be able to take photos of the planet’s surface, scientists will use other instruments to measure infrared signals and other data to try and determine its geological makeup.

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