An incredibly rare new Super-Earth plane was found by Astronomers at the University of Canterbury (UC). This new Super-Earth was found towards the center of the galaxy.
The planet is one of only a handful that has been discovered with both size and orbit comparable to that of Earth.
Both UC’s School of Physical and Chemical Sciences in the College of Science, astronomers Dr. Antonio Herrera Martin, and Associate Professor Michael Albrow were part of an international team of astronomers who collaborated on the Super-Earth research.
If the point of reference is the solar system then the host star has ma mass around 10 per-cent of the sun’s mass, and the planet’s mass would be between the mass of Earth and Neptune which would orbit at a location, between Venus and Earth. The planet’s year would be approximately 617 days since the host star has a mass which is smaller than the Sun’s mass.
The new planet found has a size and orbit very close to the earth, and this is among only a handful of extra-solar planets that have been detected.
According to Dr. Herrera Martin, a technique called gravitational microlensing was used to discover the planet.
Telescopes were used which were distributed around the world. The combination of the gravity of the planet and its host star kindled the light from a more distant background star to be magnified in a particular way.
The UC astronomer says that the effect is rare, with only about one in a million stars in the galaxy being affected at any given time. He further added that the probability to catch the planet at the same time is very low and this type of observation does not repeat.
During 2018, this particular microlensing event was observed which was detected solely by the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) using a telescope in Chile, and the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet). UC astronomers belong to these countries only. Three identical telescopes in Chile, Australia, and South Africa were used. The light output was measured from around one hundred million (100,000,000) stars in every fifteen minutes by the team via the KMTNet telescopes. These telescopes are equipped with very large cameras.