Universe

Planet GJ 436. Extrasolar planets

Planet GJ 436. Extrasolar planets

The star GJ 436 is located in the constellation Leo. It is a red dwarf located 30 light years from the Sun. It has several exoplanets, and at least one of them is among those considered habitable.

There are other extrasolar planets in this system with zero habitability characteristics. This is the case of the planet UCF-1.01, whose surface temperature is around 600 degrees Celsius. In the image you can see an artistic recreation of the star GJ 436 and its planet UCF-1.01

The habitable planet of the star GJ 436 was discovered in 2008, and is 33 light years from Earth. It was detected by a Spanish team of researchers from the Higher Council for Scientific Research. These perceived their presence thanks to a combination of computer simulations that allowed to detect the alterations that the new exoplanet caused in another nearby world, known since 2004.

It was the first time an extrasolar planet was discovered by the orbital variations it causes in another planetary body. This has been possible because the system in which it is located, around the star GJ 436, is quite compact, which causes the gravitational influence of some bodies on others to be very large.

The exoplanet is rocky and takes an orbit around its star 5.2 Earth days to complete. Because of its size, it is considered a super-earth, that is, it is similar to Earth, but somewhat larger. Its exact mass is five times greater than that of our planet.

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