Gliese 832, also known as HD 204961 or LHS 3685, is a M1.5 dwarf located in the constellation Grus, about 16 light-years from Earth. It has about half the mass and radius of the Sun.
This star is already known to harbor Gliese 832b, a cold Jupiter-like planet discovered in 2009.
“With an outer giant planet and an interior potentially rocky planet, this planetary system can be thought of as a miniature version of our Solar System,” said Prof Chris Tinney, an astronomer with the University of New South Wales and a co-author of the discovery paper accepted for publication in theAstrophysical Journal (arXiv.org pre-print).
The newly discovered exoplanet, labeled Gliese 832c, has an orbital period of 35.68 days, a mass 5.4 times that of Earth’s and receives about the same average energy as Earth does from the Sun.
Gliese 832c might have Earth-like temperatures, albeit with large seasonal shifts, given a similar terrestrial atmosphere.
“If the planet has a similar atmosphere to Earth it may be possible for life to survive, although seasonal shifts would be extreme,” Prof Tinney said.
A denser atmosphere, something expected for Super-Earths, could easily make this planet too hot for life and a Super-Venus instead.