March 31, 2023
Astronomers Find an Exoplanet That May Be Made Entirely of Oceans - Revista Galileu

Astronomers Find an Exoplanet That May Be Made Entirely of Oceans – Revista Galileu

Artist’s rendering of exoplanet TOI-1452 b, a small planet that may be completely covered in the ocean depths. (Photo: Benoit Gougeon, University of Montreal)

An international team led by researchers at the University of Montreal, Canada, announces the discovery of TOI-1452 b, a extrasolar planet It orbits one of two small stars in a system located in Draco constellationabout 100 light-years from a land.

Posted in Astronomical Journal On August 12, the study that led the celestial body describes it as being slightly larger than Earth and in an ideal location with respect to the star orbiting the presence of liquid water on its surface.

Astronomers believe it could be an “oceaning planet”, completely covered in a thick layer of water, similar to some of Earth’s moons. Jupiter and Saturn.

The first sign of TOI-1452 b was captured by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) at NASAand later confirmed by the telescope at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory (OMM) in Quebec, Canada.

“The OMM has played an important role in confirming the nature of this signal and in estimating the radius of the planet,” explains Charles Kedio of the University of Montreal. in the current situation. “This was not a routine check. We had to make sure that the signal detected by TESS was indeed from an exoplanet orbiting TOI-1452, the two largest stars at that Binary system. “

The host star TOI-1452 is much smaller than our star Sun It is one of two stars of similar size in the system. To determine other features of the exoplanet, the researchers used the SPIRou instrument, an instrument installed on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, located on the island of Hawaii.

Spiro is a infrared spectrometer Capable of performing radial velocity measurements on low-mass stars with sufficient accuracy to detect planets in their habitable zones. It took more than 50 hours of observation to estimate the planet’s mass, which is believed to be approximately five times the mass of Earth.

Estimates of the new exoplanet’s radius, mass, and density point to a very different world from our own. Although the Earth is referred to as blue planetSince about 70% of its surface is covered by oceans, water is actually only a small part of its mass – less than 1%.

TOI-1452 b does indeed have a density that can only be explained if a significant part of its mass is made up of materials lighter than those that make up the internal structure of the Earth, such as water. That’s why researchers called it an oceanic planet.

Artist's view of the surface of TOI-1452 b, which can be a "ocean planet", any planet is completely covered by a thick layer of liquid water.  (Photo: Reproduction/University of Montreal)

Technical drawing of the surface of TOI-1452 b, which could be an “ocean planet”, i.e. a planet completely covered by a thick layer of liquid water (Photo: Benoit Gougeon, University of Montreal)

“TOI-1452 b is one of the best candidates for an oceanic planet we’ve discovered so far,” says Cadiux. This and the fact that it is close enough to Earth that researchers can study it atmosphere Also make it perfect to be studied by James WebbNASA’s most accurate telescope.