Barnard's Star is the second-closest red dwarf star to our solar system (after Proxima Centauri), at 30 trillion miles from Earth.
This exoplanet was flown in orbit around the star Proxima Centauri, distant 4.2 light years. That study was published online today (Nov. 14) in the journal Nature. Barnard's Star b is drawn around the parent star for 233 days, being from it a distance amounting to only 0.4 percent of the distance separating the Earth and the Sun.
Ribas said that although stargazers could predict its size and orbit with relative accuracy using the Doppler effect, any attempt at this stage to find out what the new planet looked like would be "guesswork". This technique detects wobbles in a star which are likely to be caused by the gravitational pull of an orbiting planet.
The researchers also detected hints of another possible planet in the system, orbiting farther out than Barnard's Star b - way farther out, with an orbital period of 6,600 Earth days. It is thought to be a "Super-Earth", a category of planets more massive than Earth but smaller than the large gas planets.
"After a very careful analysis, we are over 99 percent confident that the planet is there", lead author Ignasi Ribas of Spain's Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia said in a statement.
This planet is revolving round a dwarf star that the scientists named Barnard which is also known as a "Red Dwarf" and is one of the nearest to our sun.
In the future, scientists hope to observe the exoplanet directly using new instruments and observatories, like NASA's planned Wide Field Infra Red Survey Telescope.
"Even more excitingly, the next generation of ground-based instrumentation, also coming into operation in the 2020s, should be able to directly image the reported planet, and measure its light spectrum", Diaz wrote. Barnard's star is the second closest star system, and the nearest single star to us.
"The additional data from CARMENES strongly confirmed the signal, and removed any lingering doubt as to the reality of this planet", Vogt said. "We always have to remain a bit cautious ... but we were sure enough that we were willing to go forward with publication".
They took into account 20 years of data taken from seven different instruments in order to come to a conclusion and discover the planet.
"We all have worked very hard on this result", said co-leader Guillem Anglada-Escude at Queen Mary University of London.