In recent years, researchers have conducted detailed studies of red dwarf systems in search of exoplanets. These stars have effective surface temperatures ranging from 2,400 to 3,700 Kelvin (more than 2,000 degrees below that of the Sun) and masses ranging from 0.08 to 0.45 of our luminary mass. In this context, a team of researchers led by Borja Toledo Padrón of the Canary Astrophysical Institute, Spain, specializing in the search for planets orbiting this type of star, has discovered a super-Earth that orbits the star GJ 740, a red dwarf located about 36 light-years from Earth.
The planet orbits its parent star with a period of 2.4 days and has a mass of about 3 Earth masses. Because the star is very close to the Sun and the planet is very close to the star, this new super-Earth could be the subject of future research using very large-diameter telescopes that will be commissioned before the end of this decade.
“This planet ranks second on the list of planets closest to stars of this type in their planetary systems. The planet’s mass and its period of orbit around the star indicate a rocky planet with a radius of about 1.4 Earth radii, which can be confirmed in subsequent observations with the TESS satellite,” explained Borja Toledo Padrón, who is the main author of the paper. The data also indicate the presence of a second planet in the system, whose orbital period is estimated at 9 years and whose mass is comparable to that of Saturn (about 100 Earth masses), but this signal, processed by the radial velocity method, maybe false positive and due to the magnetic cycle of the star (similar to the solar magnetic cycle), so further observations are required to confirm the planetary nature of the signal, he added.
The study is published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.