Agencia SINC – A team from the University of Oviedo and the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands discovered and characterized a super-earth type exoplanet orbiting the inner boundary of the habitable zone of a red dwarf type M0 (K2-286), according to the institutions in a statement.
To do this, the researchers used data from the Kepler Space Telescope campaign 15 on their extended mission (K2). The satellite is designed to to discover exoplanets by the method of transits. In the study, the OSIRIS and HARPS-N instruments installed in the Gran Canarias Telescope (GTC) and the Galileo Nazionale Telescope (TNG) were also used, respectively, located at the Roque de los Muchachos observatory in La Palma.
2.1 times terrestrial radio
The star, located in the constellation Libra at a distance of 76 parsecs (244 light years), has a radius of 0.62 solar rays and an effective temperature of 3650 ° C. The planet has 2.1 times the Earth's radius, an orbital period of 27.36 days and an equilibrium temperature that can be around 60ºC.
The researchers explain that the planet is at the inner boundary of the habitable zone, so that, under the right conditions, could keep liquid water on its surface, an indispensable requirement for the development of life as we know it.
The planet is of special interest not only because it is located in the habitable zone of its star, but because it is among the most suitable for atmospheric characterization with the future James Webb Space Telescope as well as for a soil tracking that allows you to accurately determine your mass.
Javier de Cos, a professor at the University of Oviedo, says "we found that the star's activity is moderate compared to other stars with similar characteristics, which would increase the chances of the planet being habitable."