The Subaro telescope has found an Earth-like planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star, 37 light-years away from us. The first successful result of this study may be an indication that we may soon find life on planets around stars close to our Solar System.
The planet found, called Ross 508 b, is four times the mass of Earth and revolves around the star Ross 508, located in the constellation Serpens. One year on Ross 508 b is equivalent to 11 Earth days.
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Red dwarfs represent approximately 75% of the stars found in the Milky Way. Despite being smaller than the Sun, they are strong candidates for harboring extraterrestrial life. However, as they do not emit much visible light, the study of these stars is compromised.
Faced with this problem, the Center for Astrobiology, considering that at infared wavelengths, red dwarfs are the brightest, developed a specific instrument to integrate the Subaru telescope and look for signs of planets around these stars, the IRD for Infrared Doppler. .
Tokyo Institute of Technology professor and principal investigator of this research, Bun’ei Sato, comments: “It has been 14 years since the beginning of the development of the IRD. We continue our development and research with the hope of finding a planet exactly like Ross 508 b.”
It is still not possible to say that there is water or life in this star, but, curiously, its orbit is elliptical and is in the star’s habitable zone, that is, it is in the right conditions to harbor life as we know it.
Other Super Earths
This is not the first time scientists have found planets in these conditions. In 2021, Olhar Digital reported that researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in Spain discovered a new super Earth that was detected in the orbit of a red dwarf star 36 light-years away from Earth.
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