Scientists spot an exoplanet twice the size of Earth

Scientists spot an exoplanet twice the size of Earth
Scientists spot an exoplanet twice the size of Earth

An international research team led by the University of Bern, Switzerland, has detected an exoplanet similar to Neptune orbiting a red dwarf star; The discovery was made thanks to observations made by the “SAINT-EX” observatory in Mexico.

Scientists reported in a new study in the journal “Astronomy and Astrophysics”, that they discovered a new planet outside Sun Group They named it “TOI-2257 b” orbiting a nearby red dwarf.

Red dwarfs are small stars that are less luminous than our sun, which makes it difficult to detect the planets orbiting them.

The distance between an exoplanet and its star is also a determining factor in its discovery: the closer a planet is to its host star, the more likely it is to be detected.

Despite the great challenges facing scientists in discovering new planets outside the solar system, the (SAINT-EX) observatory in Mexico can monitor them; Because it has a one-meter telescope, it is equipped with suitable instruments that help in high-resolution detection of small planets orbiting red dwarf stars.

Dr. Nicole Shanchi of the Space Center at the University of Bern, who led the study, said: The orbital period of the planet “TOI-2257 b” is estimated at 35 days, during which the planet orbits around the host star at a distance that allows the presence of water on the planet’s surface.

Scientists infer from the radius of the planet “TOI-2257 b”, which is 2.2 times larger than Earth, that it is a somewhat gaseous planet, and with high atmospheric pressure on it, life may not be available.

“We found that TOI-2257 b does not have a circular, concentric orbital,” Shanxi explains. “It’s the most exotic planet ever discovered orbiting a dwarf star,” she says.

And she continues: “With regard to the habitability of the planet for human life, there is bad news, while the average temperature of the planet is acceptable for life, but temperatures range from about -80 degrees Celsius to about 100 degrees Celsius, depending on its distance from the star. It revolves around it, the closer it is, the higher the temperature, and the further away it is, the lower the temperature accordingly.

And she continues, “a possible explanation for what is happening in this surprising orbit is that another giant planet in the star system lurks and disturbs the orbit in which the planet “TOI 2257 b” orbits.

Additional observations that measure the star’s radial velocity will help confirm central eccentricity and search for possible additional planets that are currently unobservable, says Nicole Shanchy.

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