Scientists have discovered a rare exoplanet, twice the size of Earth, that could potentially be covered entirely by an ocean. The planet, called TOI-1231 b, is located about 90 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Dorado.
TOI-1231 b is a sub-Neptune exoplanet, meaning it’s slightly larger than Neptune but smaller than Uranus. The planet orbits a red dwarf star, which is smaller and cooler than our sun, every 24 days.
Using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and other ground-based telescopes, the team of scientists discovered that the planet has a radius of 1.7 times that of Earth and a mass about 3.3 times that of Earth.
There have been more than 5,300 exoplanets discovered, but few match the description of the newly recorded TOI-733b.
What’s most fascinating about TOI-1231 b is that it is likely covered entirely by an ocean. The Rare planet’s atmosphere is likely made up mostly of hydrogen and helium, with some water vapor. The researchers estimate that the water on the planet could be up to 50% of its total mass.
The discovery of an ocean-covered exoplanet is significant because it could provide insights into the potential for life beyond Earth. Water is a critical ingredient for life as we know it, and the presence of liquid water on TOI-1231 b suggests that the planet could be habitable.
However, there are some challenges to the potential habitability of TOI-1231 b. The planet is located relatively close to its star, which means it could be subjected to intense radiation and heat. This could cause the rare planet’s water to evaporate and create a thick, steamy atmosphere.
Found 245 light-years away, TOI-733b is almost twice the size of Earth and orbits a sun slightly smaller than our Sun.
Despite these challenges, the discovery of TOI-1231 b is a significant step forward in our understanding of the potential for life beyond Earth. With further research and exploration, scientists may be able to determine whether this ocean-covered rare planet could harbor life.
The discovery of exoplanets like TOI-1231 b also underscores the importance of continued investment in space exploration and research. As we continue to explore the universe around us, we may discover even more fascinating and potentially habitable worlds beyond our solar system.
The discovery of TOI-1231 b, a rare ocean-covered exoplanet twice the size of Earth, is an exciting development in the search for life beyond our planet. While there are still many questions to be answered about the planet’s potential habitability, the discovery underscores the importance of continued exploration and research into the mysteries of the universe. Who knows what other discoveries lie waiting to be found in the vast expanse of space?