Two super-Earths found orbiting nearby red dwarf star


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Worlds without end: Astronomers have detected evidence of two super-Earths orbiting Gliese 887, only 11 light years away and the brightest red dwarf star in the night sky.

They used a technique known as “Doppler wobble”, which enables them to measure the tiny back and forth wobbles of the star caused by the gravitational pull of the planets. The regular signals correspond to orbits of just 9.3 and 21.8 days, indicating two super-Earths – Gliese 887b and Gliese 887c – both larger than the Earth yet moving rapidly, much faster even than Mercury. Scientists estimate the temperature of Gliese 887c to be around 70oC.

Because Gliese 887 is a very constant star, not very active, and with relatively few strong flares, they think these planets have a chance of retaining their atmospheres.

Be aware that these are like most exoplanets only candidate exoplanets. Until their existence is confirmed by other researchers, it is possible the detection is a false one.

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4 comments

  • wayne

    on the difficulty of detecting Earth-sized exoplanets:

    “Measuring the Speed of Stars”
    Ryan Rubenzahl
    Caltech Astronomy, June 2020
    https://youtu.be/7A9c5IEzM0w
    1:59:26

  • MDN

    Wow! Only 65 trillion miles away!!! Maybe we can build a ship for the anarchist left so they can go create their utopia there?

  • sippin_bourbon

    I get that “super earth” is a name they came up with so people get an idea of what they are talking about, but I do not like the term.

    “Large terrestrial planet” seems more accurate.
    Using the word Earth in it leads to the assumption of a green living healthy water world.

    For all we know, they could just be giant rocks, or micro gas planets (/sarc on that last one).

  • Ray Van Dune

    “Scientists estimate the temperature of Gliese 887c to be around 70oC.”

    Not sure if that is a typo meaning 70C or 700C. Either way, hot!
    And if they are so close in, would they be tidally locked?

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