Posted BY: Universe Today

A super-Earth planet has been found orbiting a red dwarf star, only 37 light-years from the Earth. Named Ross 508 b, the newly found world has an unusual elliptical orbit that causes it to shift in and out of the habitable zone. Therefore, part of the time conditions would be conducive for liquid water to exist on the planet’s surface, but other times it wouldn’t.

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The relatively small size and low luminosity of red dwarf stars means the habitable zone of this exoplanet is very close to the star, Ross 508. Therefore, the ever-changing conditions and likely high radiation environment doesn’t bode well for any type of habitability on this world, especially since this planet zips around its star every 11 days. The planet is about four times the mass of the Earth.