A new super-Earth was found recently. The newly found exoplanet orbits Barnard’s Star, which is about 6 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Ophiuchus. With an apparent magnitude of +9.5, you won’t be able to see this red dwarf without a telescope. And, it appears brighter in the infrared rather than the visible light spectrum.
The Red Dots community is about finding Earth-like planets and you will find information there to broaden your knowledge about where these objects are likely to exist. The Red Dots campaign targets nearby red dwarfs and recent ones include Proxima Centauri, Barnard’s star, and Ross 154.
About Barnard’s Star
Barnard’s Star is smaller and older than our Sun of 4.5 billion years old). It has been described as a flare star, which is one that has bursts of brightness at random but relatively rare times, as in the one seen in 1998.
Named after the astronomer, E. E. Barnard, it is a low-mass red dwarf within our Milky Way. The place to point your telescope for observing Barnard’s Star is near the celestial equator. In the northern hemisphere, it is best seen in summer (June) high in the sky in the constellation Ophiuchus. Its neighbors are Sagittarius, Scorpius, and Libra.
About the Exoplanet GJ 699 b
Based on the evidence to date, this super-Earth is three times the size of Earth in mass and orbits Barnard’s Star every 233 days (as compared to our ~365 days of our Sun). It is expected to be a frozen world with temperatures of about -150ºC. It has been tagged, Barnard’s star b (or GJ 699 b). This makes you think about how unique Earth is in supporting life as we know it.
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The Kepler Series of Exoplanets
We know the eight planets that orbit our Sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The Earth-like planets mentioned above are exoplanets, meaning they are outside our solar system.
The most talked-about exoplanets have been the Kepler series, with Kepler-452b discovered around 2015 as being the closest in similarity to Earth reported thus far.
The Kepler name comes from a NASA space telescope (now retired). It is named after astronomer Johannes Kepler. It operated for nine years from 2009, being retired at the end of October 2018.
At the time of writing, there appears no other like Earth, but astronomers keep looking.