RELEASED: 10:01 November 15th, 2018 | UPDATED: 10:04 November 15th, 2018

Artistic representation of the surface of the Barnard star b. Image: ESO / M. Kornmesser

Artistic representation of the surface of the Barnard star b. Image: ESO / M. Kornmesser

ESO / M. grain knife

University of Hertfordshire astronomers have confirmed the existence of a frozen planet orbiting the fastest star in the sky.

Artistic representation of Barnard's star b from outer space. Image: ESO / M. KornmesserArtistic representation of Barnard's star b from outer space. Image: ESO / M. Kornmesser

The new planet is known as the "Super Earth" and has a minimum of 3.2 Earth masses.

He orbits Barnard's Star, a red dwarf smaller and older than our Sun and after Alpha Centauri the next star of our Sun.

The planet's existence has been proven by an international team of researchers, including Boffins of the University of Hertfordshire.

The new planet, called Barnard's star b, takes the Barnard star into orbit every 233 days.

This graphic shows the location of Barnard's star and marks most of the stars visible to the naked eye on a clear, dark night. Image: ESO, IAU and Sky & TelescopeThis graphic shows the location of Barnard's star and marks most of the stars visible to the naked eye on a clear, dark night. Image: ESO, IAU and Sky & Telescope

The discovery was announced to the inhabitants of this planet in the journal Nature.

Professor Hugh Jones of the University of Hertfordshire and co-author of the newspaper said, "The announcement of the planet took a long time; First observations of the planet were made by Dr. Ing. Paul Butler made in June 1997 at the Carnegie Institution in Washington.

"My colleague dr. Mikko Tuomi had discovered the planet's fingerprints in the archival data in 2015, and as early as March 2017, we presented a scientific paper showing the planet's existence.

"However, we did not have enough evidence to conclusively support such an important discovery."

Since the planet's first discovery, an international project called Red Dots, led by Guillem Anglada-Escude at the Queen Mary University of London, formerly based at the University of Hertfordshire, has monitored Barnard's star with high-precision instruments to study the signal ,

Their measurements indicated that Barnard's star is approaching at about walking speed and moving away from us – and this is best explained by a planet, Barnard's star b.

"These big observational campaigns gave us enough evidence to validate the planetary signal with multiple independent data sets and the variety of signal-conditioning tools we've built at the University of Hertfordshire," said co-author Dr. Fabo Feng.

Barnard's star was discovered in 1916 and is six light-years from the sun.

Astronomers, science-fiction writers, filmmakers and game developers have long been known to be a promising place for a orbiting planet.

It is the fastest moving star in our sky, which has been passing the full moon for 174 years.

For most of human history, it was assumed that the positions of the stars were fixed, but for modern astronomers, Barnard's star practically buzzes across the sky.

Dr. Mikko Tuomi, who originally discovered the planet, said, "The ability to directly map a planet increases our ability to understand its properties and increase the potential for future exploration, helping astronomers learn more about the planets to experience that lie beyond our sun system. "

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