Scientists have discovered yet another super-Earth outside our solar system and bear various Earth-like similarities.
The exo-planet is situated around the center of our galaxy and is four times the mass of Earth. The newly identified planet’s star is the dim dwarf star (also called failed star), and the orbit is similar to our home planet. The new Extra-solar planet was discovered by the astronomers and researchers at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury (UC).
The planet is approximately 25,000 light-years away from the Earth, and the new alien planet’s year lasts about 617 Earth days. The super-Earth discovery is published in this month’s The Astronomical Journal. The researchers involved in the discovery reportedly used a phenomenon called gravitational microlensing to identify the alien planet.
The rare super-Earth has been claimed to be one in a million. The scientists neither observed the exo-planet directly nor the conventional method of studying the planet’s interaction with its star. The gravitational microlensing is an uncommon event as only one star in a million is lensed in the telescope. The phenomena are loosely based on the fact of how a vast heavenly body wraps the space around them.
The scientists collected the data of gravitational microlensing from Poland-based the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment and the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network before submitting findings in the journal.
The star system that was found through the study featured a planet—four times the mass of the Earth—circling around the star that is one-tenth the mass of the Sun in an orbital distance similar to Venus or the Earth. The findings in the journal also mentioned that such a planet is very rare among all other exo-planets that have been discovered till date.
NASA had previously discovered a similar Earth-like exo-planet named Kepler 62f. The planet is assumed to be potentially habitable and is 500 light-years away from our planet.