An international team of astronomers has discovered a ‘superearth’ planet called GJ 536 b which is not in the habitable zone of its star but could help scientists understand its atmospheric composition.
An international team has discovered a body in space which has been described as a “‘superearth’ type planet.”
A news release issued by an astrophysical institute in the Canary Islands reveals that the planet, named GJ 536 b, has a mass of around 5.4 times that of Earth.
This measure qualifies it as a superearth since the designation refers to a planet whose mass is equal to or greater than Earth’s but is also not extraordinarily massive.
Some have speculated that these bodies could be suitable for geologic activity or even potential habitability.
However, the team acknowledges that the planet they discovered does not orbit within its star’s habitable zone where liquid water is likely to exist and support life.
But they do believe that its relatively brief 8.7-day-long orbit and its star’s luminosity and proximity to our sun could help to provide insight into atmospheric composition.
The astronomers plan to continue exploring the area around the star because, as one researcher has stated, “Rocky planets are usually found in groups.”