Our Sun is not one of the most abundant types of star in our Milky Way galaxy. That award goes to red dwarfs, stars that are smaller and cooler than our Sun. In fact, red dwarfs presumably contain the bulk of our galaxy’s planet population reports NASA’s Hubble Site, which could number tens of billions of worlds.
Only six light-years from Earth, Barnard’s star is among the nearby red dwarfs that represents an ideal target to search for exoplanets that could someday actually be reached by future interstellar spacecraft, says Steven Vogt, professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics at University of California, Santa Cruz. But the search for evidence of planets around this famous red dwarf star over the past 50 years has been unsuccessful.