A cloud of water is expected to be found on an exoplanet named TOI-1231 b, discovered far away from Earth. NASA has said that it is the coldest of all the exoplanets known so far. Because of this, the expectation of the presence of water vapor here is also high.
Scientists have discovered a new exoplanet at a distance of 90 light years from Earth. After seeing this amazing planet, it is being speculated that clouds of water can be found on it just like Earth. These exoplanets are planets outside our solar system. This exoplanet, named TOI-1231 b, completes one orbit of its star every 24 days.
This exoplanet orbits a small and dim star
The planet does not orbit our Sun, but rather a red or M-type dwarf star. This star is known as LNTT 24399 (NLTT 24399). This star is much smaller and dimmer than our Sun. A detailed study has also been done regarding the discovery of this planet. Which is planned to be published in an upcoming issue of The Astronomical Journal.
This exoplanet is eight times closer than Earth
Diana Dragomir, co-author of the study and assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico, said that although TOI 1231 b is eight times closer to its star than the Sun is to Earth, it has a temperature similar to that of Earth. Due to the less bright and cold star, the temperature of this planet has not increased even after being eight times closer. If it was so close to our Sun, then the atmosphere here would also be as hot as Venus.
Its size is much bigger than the earth
He told that the size of this planet is much bigger than our Earth and smaller than Neptune. That’s why we can name it Sub-Neptune. Since the discovery of this planet, there is a lot of enthusiasm among scientists. If truly water clouds are found here, then it could be the biggest discovery of the century for humans.
Scientists claiming to be a gaseous planet
The scientists doing the study have determined the radius and mass of this planet. This helped scientists calculate the density of TOI-1231 b and infer its composition. This exoplanet has a low density, which suggests that it is a gaseous planet rather than a rocky planet like Earth. But scientists do not yet know for sure about the composition of the planet or its atmosphere.
Scientists are happy with the hope of having water vapor
Lead study author Jennifer Burt, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said TOI-1231b is quite similar in size and density to Neptune. For this reason we think that it has a similarly large and gaseous atmosphere. Diana Dragomir suggested that the planet may have a large hydrogen or hydrogen-helium atmosphere. In addition there may be a denser water vapor atmosphere.
60 °C temperature best indication
Researchers believe that TOI-1231 b has an average temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). Such a temperature makes it one of the best small exoplanets ever available for future study of its atmosphere. NASA’s Jennifer Burt said that TOI-1231 b is positively cooler than most exoplanets ever found. The cooler the exoplanet, the more likely it is to have clouds in its atmosphere.