NASA has discovered a ‘weird, undiscovered’ planet that is very similar to Earth.
NASA has identified a “strange” planet that looks remarkably like Earth.
Exoplanet TOI-1231 b has been discovered circling a M dwarf star by researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of New Mexico. The planet is 90 light years away from Earth and possesses an atmosphere that is very similar to our own. The findings will be published in The Astronomical Journal in the near future.
TOI-1231 b is a sub-Neptune-sized, temperate body with a 24-day orbit.
Despite being eight times closer to its star than the Earth is to the sun, the planet has a temperature similar to ours.
TOI-1231b has a temperature of about 330 Kelvin (140 degrees Fahrenheit) in its atmosphere, making it one of the coolest tiny exoplanets identified so far.
According to the researchers, clouds and possibly signs of water could be found high in the atmosphere.
NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program’s Pat Brennan said on the organization’s website that the planet is “ready for exploration.”
“Though not livable due to its size, the planet could offer scientists one of their first opportunities to obtain a “bar-code” type reading of the atmosphere of a temperate, Neptune-sized exoplanet – a planet orbiting another star,” he cautioned.
“This will enable comparisons with similar worlds elsewhere in the galaxy, perhaps revealing new information on the composition and genesis of exoplanets and planetary systems, including our own.
“Though small, the planet’s red dwarf star shines brightly in the infrared section of the light spectrum, which is light beyond the red end of the spectrum that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
“However, (the Hubble Space Telescope) and (the James Webb Space Telescope) will find it suitable for investigation.”
Jennifer Burt, a Nasa JPL scientist, and Diana Dragomir, an assistant professor in UNM’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, both agreed that further research is needed to figure out what makes TOI-1231 b tick.
“Future investigations of this new planet will allow us to know how prevalent (or unusual) water clouds are surrounding these temperate worlds,” she said.
“Rather than being a stony planet, TOI 1231b has a significant atmosphere, as evidenced by its low density.
“However, neither the composition nor the scope of this atmosphere are known!
“TOI1231b could have a dense water vapour atmosphere or a huge hydrogen or hydrogen-helium atmosphere.
Brinkwire Summary News: “Each of these.”