The first exoplanet has been discovered by Subaru Strategic Program using the infrared spectrograph IRD on the Subaru Telescope (IRD-SSP).
The discovered exoplanet is located about 37 light-years away from the Earth, around a red dwarf star called Ross 508, which is one-fifth the mass of the sun.
The Astrobiology Center in Japan has successfully developed IRD (InfraRed Doppler instrument), the world's first high-precision infrared spectrograph for 8-meter class telescopes.
This is the first exoplanet discovered by a systematic search using an infrared spectrometer.
This planet, Ross 508b, is a super-Earth with about four times the mass of the Earth and is located near the habitable zone.
Its average distance from its central star is 0.05 times the Earth-sun distance, and it is located at the inner edge of the habitable zone.
Such a planet may be able to retain water on its surface, and will be an important target for future observations to verify the possibility of life around low-mass stars.
Interestingly, the planet is likely to have an elliptical orbit, in which case it would cross into the habitable zone with an orbital period of about 11 days.
Research on exoplanets, which has made great progress in recent years since the discovery of a giant planet around a star similar to our sun.
The star of the exoplanet is a red dwarf, which has a mass less than our Sun.
Red dwarfs constitute three-quarters of the stars in our galaxy and exist in large numbers in the vicinity of our solar system, are excellent targets to find exoplanets in our neighborhood.