An exoplanet has been found in the habitable zone of a nearby star.

We are talking about the star Ross 128. This is a red dwarf, removed from us for 11 light years. Its mass is 0.16, and the radius is 0.21 solar. Like other stars of this class, the Ross 128 emits little energy. Its luminosity is only 0.036% of solar. But at the same time, Ross 128 is much quieter than most red dwarfs, who are known for their very violent temper (they can produce very powerful flashes, as well as significantly reduce their luminosity). This, as well as data on the low metallicity of the luminary, indicate its solid age. According to some estimates, Ross 128 was formed about 9.5 billion years ago. For comparison, the age of the Sun is 5 billion years.

Now we know that Ross 128 has at least one planet. It was detected using the HARPS spectrograph installed on the 3.6-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. This tool finds exoplanets using the radial velocity method - i.e. by deviations in the star's velocity relative to the Earth.HARPS has shown that an exoplanet rotates around Ross 128, the mass of which is 1.35 Earthly. It makes one revolution around a star in 9.9 Earth days.

The orbit of exoplanets Ross 128 b passes at a distance of 0.049 AU (7.3 million km) from the star. It receives 1.38 times more energy than Earth. This puts the Ross 128 b in the interior of the so-called. habitable zone - a region where, theoretically, liquid water can theoretically exist on the surface of a body. But how things are really hard to say. The temperature on the surface of the planet will first be determined by the properties of its gas envelope, albedo, and also by whether it is in tidal capture with respect to the star. Different models give different values ​​of the equilibrium temperature of the Ross 128 b, ranging from -60 to + 20 degrees Celsius.
At the moment, Ross 128 b is the second exoplanet in terms of distance from the Solar System in the habitable zone. Given the age and low activity of the star, the conditions on the Ross 128 b surface can be much more favorable for a potential life than on Proxime b. It is worth recalling that during the observations of this system in May, the Arecibo Observatory recorded unusual radio signals.But later it turned out that they most likely had a terrestrial origin.

Now Ross 128 occupies the twelfth place in the list of stars closest to the Sun. But it is worth noting that it is gradually approaching the solar system. The minimum convergence will take place in 79 thousand years, when Ross 128 approaches us at a distance of 6.2 light years.

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