by Chad Langin
Scientists have been exploring planets, stars, and other celestial bodies for as long ago as anyone can remember. They often use ground equipment including optical telescopes and space equipment, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, to make new discoveries. As technology continues to advance at a rapid rate, scientists are now able to study distant galaxies and phenomena such as black holes and neutron stars. More importantly, they are able to determine if there are other Earth-like planets out there. In fact, an international team of scientists led by the University of Montreal recently announced the discovery of an oceanic planet with the potential for life.
TOI-1452 b is a planet slightly larger than our planet and orbits a red dwarf star about 100 light-years away. according to IOP Science According to the astronomical journal, the planet is potentially rocky and receives twice as much radiation as Earth. Due to the fact that TOI-1452 b receives moderate radiation, it makes a great candidate for an ocean planet.
While they are studying TOI-1452b, Scientists It revealed that a possible ocean planet orbits one of two small stars in a binary system in the constellation of Draco. The planet appears to be located within the habitable zone of its star, which means that it is neither too hot nor too cold for the presence of liquid water. In fact, one simulation of TOI-1452 b, developed by computer modeling specialists in the team of scientists, showed that water can make up up to 30% of the planet’s mass. By comparison, Earth’s oceans make up less than 1% even though 70% of its surface is water.
The Astronomical Journal reported that TOI-1452 b completes the orbit of its star every 11 days, which is considered a year on the planet. It receives roughly the same amount of light from its star as Venus does from our sun. The star around which the ocean planet orbits is smaller and cooler than our sun and is estimated to be in an orbit of 1,400 years.
TOI-1452 b was discovered by NASA James Webb Space TelescopeIt is the largest and most complex space telescope ever built. It is able to collect light that travels 13.5 billion years ago. The Webb telescope is able to see directly through huge clouds of dust that obscure the view of most other telescopes due to their collection of infrared light. It is 100 times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, and powerful enough to search for water vapor in the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars. In other words, the advanced telescope can locate a surrounding planet located hundreds of light-years away.
The discovery of TOI-1452 b is an extraordinary feat for scientists. “TOI-1452 b is one of the best candidates for the oceanic planet we’ve discovered so far,” said Charles Cadieux, PhD. student in University of Montreal.
Scientists have long hoped to discover an ocean planet with Earth-like qualities, and although they have identified some planets likely to contain water, confirmation is difficult given the distance. It is curious that although TOI-1452 b is located at a distance of about 100 light-years, this is very close in astronomical terms. Hopefully, as technology continues to advance, scientists can make more frequent discoveries, including long-awaited evidence of extraterrestrial life.
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