로고

Can new exoplanet TOI-1231 b replace the earth?

By Kim Su-Yeon | 기사입력 2021/08/04 [08:14]

Can new exoplanet TOI-1231 b replace the earth?

By Kim Su-Yeon | 입력 : 2021/08/04 [08:14]

▲ Astronomers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of New Mexico have discovered a planet just 90 light-years away from Earth with an unusual atmosphere that could have clouds containing water. The planet is an exoplanet i.e. a cosmic body that exists outside our Solar System.


Astronomers reportedly discovered a new planet that is 90 light-years away from Earth. An exoplanet called TOI-1231 b was discovered by a team of scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of New Mexico (UNM). The results of the study were recently published on the paper public site Archive. The paper is based on data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and TOI-1231 b was confirmed using the Planet Finder Spectrograph (PFS) on the Magellan Clay telescope in Chile.

 

Astronomers determined that TOI-1231 b is weirdly reminiscent of Neptune, both in size and density. However, its temperature is more similar to that of our home planet. “Even though TOI 1231 b is eight times closer to its star than Earth is to the sun, its temperature is similar to that of Earth, thanks to its cooler and less bright host star,” said study co-author Diana Dragomir, assistant professor in UNM’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. “However, the planet itself is actually larger than Earth and a little bit smaller than Neptune […] we could call it a sub-Neptune.” Because its equilibrium temperature is about 134ºF/57ºC, TOI-1231 b is one of the coolest, small exoplanets available for future atmospheric study ever discovered. 

 

Another thing to note about TOI-1231 b is that researchers believe there are clouds on the planet with a thick atmosphere. The material that makes clouds can be hydrogen or helium, but it can also be water. If clouds are made of water, there is a high possibility that there is water in the atmosphere. The exoplanet “K2-18b,” which was discovered 124 light-years away from Earth in 2015, was found to have mixed water in the atmosphere, which excited the astronomical community. 

 

As such, the natural environment of TOI-1231b is better than that of other exoplanets. However, it remains to be seen whether life forms could exist there. This is because it is likely to be a gas-based planet without hard rock. Earth’s creatures have developed their body on the premise that it has land on which to set foot. The researchers said on NASA’s website, “We will closely monitor the types of gases surrounding the new exoplanet through the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be launched this fall.”

 

64th Edition of Weeklymonday (August 2, 2021) 

  • 도배방지 이미지

Photo News
이동
메인사진
“Makgeolli, next Korean wave”
  • 썸네일
  • 썸네일
  • 썸네일
광고
광고
광고