The newly discovered planet is about five times heavier than Earth, and its density could be consistent with having a “very deep ocean World.”A team of researchers recently discovered a planet about 100 light-years from Earth that they believe could be completely covered in water.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the planet – called TOI-1452 b – is believed to be 70% larger than Earth and located in the “Goldilocks Zone”, where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold. for liquid water to exist on its surface.
Based on observations from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a team of researchers led by the University of Montreal announced the discovery of a “super-Earth”. According to a press release, the US space agency said: “Further investigation could shed light on an intriguing possibility: that the planet may be a ‘water world’.”
The planet is roughly five times heavier than Earth, and its density could be consistent with having a “very deep ocean.” It could also be a huge rock with little or no atmosphere. “It could even be a rocky planet with an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium,” the press release said.
100 light-years away, a planet bigger than Earth orbits two stars. Its mass, or weight, might be consistent with a rocky planet with a deep ocean. It will take more study, but scientists are intrigued and say it’s worth a closer look! https://t.co/1blfLg9S5T pic.twitter.com/qtb1xj160R
— NASA Exoplanets (@NASAExoplanets) August 24, 2022
TOI-1452 orbits its red dwarf star once every 11 days. It also orbits a binary star system in which two stars orbit each other at a distance roughly two and a half times the distance from our Sun to Pluto.
Separately, according to a study published in The Astronomical Journal, Charles Cadieux, a Ph.D. student at the University of Montreal, said, “TOI-1452 b is one of the best ocean planet candidates we’ve found so far.”
Mr. Cadieux, who is the lead author of the study, also added: “Its radius and mass indicate a much lower density than would be expected for a planet that is essentially metal and rock like Earth.”
The analysis suggested that water could make up as much as 30% of the planet’s mass – a proportion similar to some of the Solar System’s moons, such as Titan or Ganymede.
Now, to determine whether TOI-1452 b is watery, scientists will have to look at it with the powerful James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The planet is a perfect candidate for observation because it’s close enough to Earth to be easily visible, and it’s in a part of the sky that a telescope can see year-round.
Researchers are trying to schedule time on Webb to examine TOI-1452 b as soon as possible.
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