Scientists discover wild planet that may be covered by a huge ocean

A vast ocean 100 light-years away in space could cover an entire distant planet.

Astronomers recently announced that the exoplanet TOI-1452 b is close in size to Earth and lies in a region of the solar system where liquid water may exist. The enormous amount of water — many times the amount of water on Earth — may explain the planet’s low density (as opposed to a world awash in rock and metal). A team of more than 50 scientists astronomical journal.

“TOI-1452 b is one of the best candidates for an ocean planet ever discovered,” said Charles Cadieux, an astronomer at the University of Montreal who led the study, in a statement.

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ocean of another planet

An artist’s rendering of the ocean of exoplanet TOI-1452 b.
Credit: Benoit Gougeon / University of Montreal

NASA’s space telescope TESS, which surveys the universe for exoplanets, recently detected this potential water world when it passed in front of one of its stars (there are two planets in this distant solar system). there are stars). It was the star’s dimming that gave astronomers clues to the existence of TOI-1452. (About 50 hours of follow-up observations from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii have estimated the mass and properties of the planet.)

“If TOI-1452 b is shown to be an ocean world, that ocean could actually be very deep,” NASA said. may be occupied by On Earth, water makes up only 1% of the planet’s mass.

This new study highlights that TOI-1452 b is a fascinating planet that requires further investigation. And astronomers now have an extraordinary exoplanet probe in space, the James Webb Space Telescope. It has instruments that can peer into exoplanet atmospheres in unprecedented detail and determine what they are made of. This powerful device is expected to revolutionize our understanding of little known extrasolar planets.

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Nestor Espinoza, an exoplanet researcher at the Space Telescope Science Institute, said: The recently launched James Webb Space Telescopetold Mashable.

TOI-1452 b is part of the sky easily visible with the Webb telescope, but it is not. too far over there. “Planet TOI-1452 b appears to be optimally positioned for further investigation by James’ Webb Space Telescope, which is located approximately 1.6 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Earth,” he writes NASA. .

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