A One in a Million Super-Earth Exoplanet is Shocking Scientists

Finding life on other planets is the ultimate goal for astronomers, although we may not find exactly what we’re looking for once we encounter alien life forms. The Universe is way too vast for the human imagination ever to comprehend, and therefore there could be countless dangers lurking in the shadows.

But surely, it’s our duty as a human species to explore the unknown, and finding the right Super-Earth is a huge step towards the goal of encountering life on other planets.

Newfound Super-Earth near the center of Milky Way

As some scientists would say that you have to search through millions of galaxies in order to find the perfect Super-Earth, astronomers from the University of Canterbury (UC) have discovered a new such type of exoplanet. Maybe it’s not actually a perfect Super-Earth, but it’s still considered as one in a million.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Herrera Martin, stated the following about the new discovery:

To have an idea of the rarity of the detection, the time it took to observe the magnification due to the host star was approximately five days, while the planet was detected only during a small five-hour distortion. After confirming this was indeed caused by another ‘body’ different from the star, and not an instrumental error, we proceeded to obtain the characteristics of the star-planet system.

Furthermore, another astronomer who participated in the project said:

The microlensing effect is rare, with only about one in a million stars in the galaxy being affected at any given time. Furthermore, this type of observation does not repeat, and the probabilities of catching a planet at the same time are extremely low.

The newfound exoplanet has a mass between Earth and Neptune, and it orbits its host star in almost two times more days than our own planet does it around the Sun: 617 days.


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