Mark Garlick They also believe the planets could be rocky, like Earth … "Extra-solar planet" is another term for exoplanet, which describes a planet located outside our solar system. A whole new category of planets, Super Earths are quite common in our galaxy. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose. We used telescopes distributed around the world to measure the light-bending effect.". Your feedback will go directly to Science X editors. "These experiments detect around 3000 microlensing events each year, the majority of which are due to lensing by single stars," the paper's co-author Associate Professor Albrow notes. 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," he says. Toward the center of our galaxy, in a star system far away, is a planet with features that remind us of home. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Privacy Policy A Super-Earth was spotted near the galactic center, and it appears to be in the habitable zone of its star. The super-Earth discovery was a fortuitous event that UC described as "one in a million.". The super-Earth discovery was a fortuitous event that UC described as "one in a million." You can be assured our editors closely monitor every feedback sent and will take appropriate actions. The astronomers used a gravitational microlensing technique to spot the planet. NASA has racked up some intriguing super-Earth discoveries in recent years, including the potentially habitable Kepler 62f. The space discoveries 2020 of earth like planets expose the universe and its possibility for life. Using the solar system as a point of reference, the host star is about 10% the mass of our Sun, and the planet would have a mass somewhere between that of Earth and Neptune, and would orbit at a location between Venus and Earth from the parent star. There's a lot of hope wrapped up in a term like "super-Earth," but there are no guarantees a planet in this category will look anything like our own. Lead researchers in the discovery, astronomers Dr. Antonio Herrera Martin and Associate Professor Michael Albrow, both of UC's School of Physical and Chemical Sciences in the College of Science, are part of an international team of astronomers who collaborated on the Super-Earth research. The astronomers used a gravitational microlensing technique to spot the planet. Potentially habitable 'super-Earth' discovered just 31 light-years away Follow-up research could reveal if the planet is rocky or has oceans. Super Earth—Super Girth Over the last 20 years, we have discovered all kinds of strange planets we never thought could exist and that have no analog in our solar system. This particular microlensing event was observed during 2018 and designated OGLE-2018-BLG-0677. or, by University of Canterbury. Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. "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. The planet is about 1,400 light-years away from the Solar System. Medical Xpress covers all medical research advances and health news, Tech Xplore covers the latest engineering, electronics and technology advances, Science X Network offers the most comprehensive sci-tech news coverage on the web. Due to the host star having a smaller mass than our Sun, the planet would have a 'year' of approximately 617 days. Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. This document is subject to copyright. We do not guarantee individual replies due to extremely high volume of correspondence. Get weekly and/or daily updates delivered to your inbox. Furthermore, this type of observation does not repeat, and the probabilities of catching a planet at the same time are extremely low, the UC astronomer says. On Nov. 27, 1885, an astronomer made the first known photograph of a meteor. Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, Colorado Gov. The microlensing effect is rare, with only about one in a million stars in the galaxy being affected at any given time. For scale, Earth is about 25,000 light-years away from the galactic center. The super-Earth discovery was a fortuitous event that UC described as "one in a million." It is the first potentially rocky super-Earth planet discovered orbiting within the habitable zone of a star very similar to the Sun. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details to third parties. A Super-Earth was spotted near the galactic center, and it appears to be in the habitable zone of its star. The planet is one of only a handful that have been discovered with both size and orbit comparable to that of Earth. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. The content is provided for information purposes only. Dr. Herrera Martin explains the planet was discovered using a technique called gravitational microlensing. The new planet is among only a handful of extra-solar planets that have been detected with both sizes and orbits close to that of Earth.