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New ‘Super-Earth’ Orbits Its Star Once Every 2.4 Days


TENERIFE, SPAIN — A “super-Earth” orbiting a red dwarf star has been discovered only 36 light years from Earth in the constellation of Serpens, according to a study published in the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal.

In a February 18 preprint version of the study available on the arXiv server, the planet’s temperature is estimated to be around 556 degrees Celsius.

Known as GJ 740 b, the planet has a mass believed to be around three times that of Earth and a radius 1.4 times that of Earth’s. This would make it only slightly smaller than Neptune.

The “super-Earth” orbits its star, known as GJ 740, in just 2.4 days. Its mass and orbital period suggest it is a rocky planet.

The data indicate a second planet may be orbiting the same star. It is believed to have a similar mass to Saturn and an orbital period estimated to be nine years.

Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Astronomy & Astrophysics, NASA, Business Insider

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