Alien life could exist on frozen and rocky 'super-Earth' just six light-years away, study finds - Daily Mail Daily Mail - Sat 12 Jan 01:10 GMT
Barnard b is a recently discovered Super-Earth planet orbiting Barnard's Star, Villanova University researchers revealed their find at the American Astronomy Society (AAS) in Seattle.
'We note that the surface temperature on Jupiter's icy moon Europa is similar to Barnard b but, because of tidal heating, Europa probably has liquid oceans under its icy surface.'
Barnard's Star b, with a mass just over three times that of the Earth, orbits Barnard's Star, a red dwarf star, every 233 days and at roughly the same distance that Mercury orbits the Sun.
Its host, Barnard's Star, is six light years from Earth - hardly any distance on astronomical scales - with a luminosity 0.0035 times that of the sun.
Barnard's Star is six light years from Earth - hardly any distance on astronomical scales - a dim dwarf with a luminosity 0.0035 times that of the sun.
The only closer star system is Alpha Centauri 4.4 light years away Barnard's Star is old, born before exploding stars had enhanced the amount of interstellar metals to that seen today, with a metal content only 10 per cent that of the Sun.