A Super Earth exoplanet was discovered at about 37 light years from us


Using Subaru Telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan in Hawaii, Nasa has recently discovered a super Earth exoplanet with a mass four times that of Earth, located about 37 light years from us in the Serpens constellation, that orbits an M-type star. The super-Earth orbits its star – a red dwarf which is smaller in size than our Sun – in 10.8 days and is in a habitable zone. One year on Ross 508b equals just 11 Earth-days. The Ross 508b’s orbit is elliptical. The Super Earth experiences 1.4 times the solar radiation that Earth witnesses. The only problem is that this planet keeps moving in and out of its habitable zone.


Future observations will study the possibility of life. The exoplanet orbits the star at a distance that offers temperatures conducive to the formation of water on the surface of the planet. Astronomers in Japan had first spotted the Super-Earth earlier this year in May. The find is also significant because the infrared observational instrument opens the possibilities of discovering more such planets around red dwarf stars, which are typically difficult to study. Red dwarf stars are abundant in the vicinity of our solar system and form three-quarters of the stars in our galaxy. As such, NASA finds them excellent targets to seek out exoplanets in our cosmic neighbourhood.