Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades Gobierno de Canarias Universidad de La Laguna CSIC Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa

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A super-Earth planet candidate orbiting at the snow-line of Barnard’s star

Author/s: I. Ribas, M. Tuomi, A. Reiners et al.

Reference: 2018 Nature 563 365 | Link

Phase-folded representation of the best-fitting 233-day circular orbit (black line) to the different sets (circles) of the radial velocity time series. The black squares represent the average velocity in 16 bins along the orbital phase.
Phase-folded representation of the best-fitting 233-day circular orbit (black line) to the different sets (circles) of the radial velocity time series. The black squares represent the average velocity in 16 bins along the orbital phase.

At a distance of 1.8 parsecs, Barnard’s star (Gl 699) is a red dwarf with the largest apparent motion of any known stellar object. It is the closest single star to the Sun, second closest after the alpha Centauri triple stellar system. Barnard’s star is also among the least magnetically active red dwarfs known and has an estimated age older than our Solar System. A combination of numerous measurements from high-precision radial velocity instruments reveals the presence of a low-amplitude but significant periodic signal at 233 days arising from a planetary companion. The candidate planet around Barnard’s star is a cold super-Earth with a minimum mass of 3.2 Earth masses orbiting near its snow-line. Because of its proximity to the Sun, the proposed planet has a maximum angular separation of 220 milli-arcseconds from Barnard’s star, making it an excellent target for complementary direct imaging and astrometric observations

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