Hot super-earth discovered 26 light years away

Astronomers out Carmen (Calar Alto’s high-resolution search for M-dwarfs with exoearths using near-infrared and echelle spectrographs) A consortium discovered a short-range rocky planet orbiting the red dwarf Gliese 486.

486 M dwarf star falls 26.3 light years Path in the constellation Virgo.

Also known as GJ 486, Wolf 437, LHS 341, and HIC 62452, the star is lighter and colder than the Sun.

The newly discovered planet orbits the star once every 1.5 days at a distance of 2.5 million km.

Rhombus Gliese 486b belongs to a class of exoplanets called super-earth.

Its radius is 1.31, the radius of the earth, and its mass is 2.8 times the mass of our original planet, but it has a similar density.

Its composition isn’t the only differentiator – its relative proximity to Earth makes it an ideal candidate for observing with next-generation astronomical technology.

An artistic impression of the surface of Gliese 486b.  Photo credit: RenderArea,

An artistic impression of the surface of Gliese 486b. Photo credit: RenderArea,

“The proximity of this exoplanet is exciting as it will be possible to study it more closely with powerful telescopes such as the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope and various very large telescopes such as GMT and TMT,” said Dr. Trifon Trifonov. An astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy.

“We hope that in the next few years we can use transient spectroscopy to look for signs of the atmosphere and possibly determine the composition of the surface of this planet.”

With a balanced surface temperature of 700 K, Gliese 486b is far too hot to support life as we know it.

“You couldn’t get out without a spacesuit,” said Dr. Ben Monte, astronomer at the University of New South Wales School of Physics.

“Gravity is also 70% stronger than on the ground, which makes walking and jumping even more difficult. A person who weighs 50 kg on earth feels as if they weigh 85 kg on a Gliese 486b. “

“If the temperature were about a hundred degrees higher, its surface would be lava and its atmosphere would be evaporated rocks,” said Dr. Jose Antonio Caballero, astronomer at the Center for Astrobiology (CAB, CSIC-INTA).

“If the Gliese 486b were about a hundred degrees cooler, however, it would not be suitable for follow-up observations.”

Astronomers discovered Gliese 486b using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey (TESS) satellite and ground telescopes in Spain, the United States, Chile, and Hawaii.

“This is the kind of planet we’ve been dreaming of for decades,” said Dr. Mounts.

“We long known that rocky super-earth should exist around nearby stars, but we didn’t have the technology to look for them until recently.”

The discovery was reported in A. Paper- Published in the magazine this week science.


Trivonov Et al. 2021. A nearby transient rocky exoplanet suitable for an atmospheric probe. science 371 (6533): 1038 & ndash; 1041; Doi: 10.1126 / science.abd7645

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