A candidate super-Earth planet orbiting near the snow line of Barnard's star

Ribas, I.; Tuomi, M.; Reiners, A.; Butler, R. P.; Morales, J. C.; Perger, M.; Dreizler, S.; Rodríguez-López, C.; González Hernández, J. I.; Rosich, A. et al.
Bibliographical reference

Nature, Volume 563, Issue 7731, p.365-368

Advertised on:
11
2018
Journal
Description
Barnard's star is a red dwarf, and has the largest proper motion (apparent motion across the sky) of all known stars. At a distance of 1.8 parsecs1, it is the closest single star to the Sun; only the three stars in the α Centauri system are closer. Barnard's star is also among the least magnetically active red dwarfs known2,3 and has an estimated age older than the Solar System. Its properties make it a prime target for planetary searches; various techniques with different sensitivity limits have been used previously, including radial-velocity imaging4-6, astrometry7,8 and direct imaging9, but all ultimately led to negative or null results. Here we combine numerous measurements from high-precision radial-velocity instruments, revealing the presence of a low-amplitude periodic signal with a period of 233 days. Independent photometric and spectroscopic monitoring, as well as an analysis of instrumental systematic effects, suggest that this signal is best explained as arising from a planetary companion. The candidate planet around Barnard's star is a cold super-Earth, with a minimum mass of 3.2 times that of Earth, orbiting near its snow line (the minimum distance from the star at which volatile compounds could condense). The combination of all radial-velocity datasets spanning 20 years of measurements additionally reveals a long-term modulation that could arise from a stellar magnetic-activity cycle or from a more distant planetary object. Because of its proximity to the Sun, the candidate planet has a maximum angular separation of 220 milliarcseconds from Barnard's star, making it an excellent target for direct imaging and astrometric observations in the future.
Related projects
Discovery of a system of super-Earths orbiting the star HD 176986 with about 5.7 and 9.2 Earth masses.
Very Low Mass Stars, Brown Dwarfs and Planets

Our goal is to study the processes that lead to the formation of low mass stars, brown dwarfs and planets and to characterize the physical properties of these objects in various evolutionary stages. Low mass stars and brown dwarfs are likely the most numerous type of objects in our Galaxy but due to their low intrinsic luminosity they are not so

Rafael
Rebolo López
Projects' name image
Exoplanets and Astrobiology

The search for life in the universe has been driven by recent discoveries of planets around other stars (known as exoplanets), becoming one of the most active fields in modern astrophysics. The growing number of new exoplanets discovered in recent years and the recent advance on the study of their atmospheres are not only providing new valuable

Enric
Pallé Bago
ARES: High Spectral Resolution

ARES (High Spectral Resolution) is a coordinated project which attempt to join and consolidate the efforts on instrument developments at high spectral resolution within the IAC. The goal is to launch the scientific programs that the IAC carries out on the search and characterization of exoplanets, in particular Earth-like exoplanets, on the

Jonay Isai
González Hernández
Type