Barnard's star, a red dwarf star that is in the solar system about six light years from Earth, may have some company.
Researchers of the ecoplanet-hunting group Red Dots have discovered the planet – some 3.2 times more than Earth's mass and very cold surround the stars, Smithsonian reports. Their findings are published in the nature on Wednesday.
"We firmly believe that the building is there," says lead researcher Ignasi Ribas. "We always have to stay a little cautious … but we were pretty sure we were ready to go on with the release." Planet, Barnard's star b, is the second closest exoplanet (planet outside our solar system) to Earth, per USA Todai.
The researchers looked at two decades of data from seven different telescopes to pick up the planet Forbes. Regarding the possibility of life on Bernard's Star b, the planet is "too cold" to keep running water, says Ribas and whether life is frozen beneath the ocean is just speculation at this time.
During his research, Smithsonian notes, the researchers found weak evidence of another planet, which would be Barnard's star c. Several decades ago, scientists believed that they discovered the planets around the star. However, they ended up as a result of instrument problems.
(Last year, scientists found the smallest possible star.)