A new Super Earth at 37 light years away from us



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A new Super Earth at 37 light years away from us

A new planet, a super Earth, was recently discovered in the constellation of the Serpent. The star, named Ross 508 b, may be able to host life. NASA said the planet orbits Ross 508, a star, at a distance such as to offer temperatures favorable to allow the existence of liquid water on its surface, which would suggest it may be habitable.

First identified in early May 2022, Ross 508 b has four times the mass of the Earth and is 37 light years from our planet. Ross 508 b is a Super Earth: it takes only 10.8 days to complete orbit around its parent star, Ross 508, which has about one fifth of the mass of the Sun.

Ross 508, in particular, is one of the type stars M, which are red stars that represent about three quarters of all the stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The discovery was made by Professor Bun'ei Sato of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, thanks to the use of an infrared observation instrument, the InfraRed Doppler Instrument, installed on the Subaru telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan located on the top of the Mauna Kea, in Hawaii.

A new Super Earth 37 light years away from us

Hiroki Harakawa, Subaru Telescope researcher and lead author of the study, added: "Ross 508 b is the first successful detection of a Super Earth using only near-infrared spectroscopy.

Prior to this, in the detection of low-mass planets such as the Super Earth, near-infrared observations alone were not accurate enough and verification by high-precision line-of-sight velocity measurements in visible light was required.

The study shows how, even when used without the aid of other tools, the 'IRD-SSP is able to detect this type of exoplanets and that the work "demonstrates the advantage of IRD-SSP in its ability to identify planets with high accuracy even around late-type red dwarfs that are too faint to be observed with visible light."

Professor Sato told: "It has been 14 years since the development of IRD began. We continued our development and research with the hope of finding a planet exactly like Ross 508 b."