Discovered a planet 90 light years from Earth where there could be life

TOI-1231 b and is a gaseous world, very similar to our Neptune, with a very interesting atmosphere: there are clouds and, probably, even water.

In space there could be life. A new exoplanet with a very interesting atmosphere has been discovered 90 light years from Earth. It is called TOI-1231 b and is a gaseous world very similar to our Neptune. Large 3.5 times the diameter of the Earth, is a little warmer than the globe, with a temperature between 56 ° C and 57 ° C, but still that falls among the coldest planets of this type that have ever been observed. For scientists TOI-1231 b is in a privileged position that allows its atmosphere to be studied by space telescopes. The exoplanet orbits a red dwarf star, smaller but longer-lived than our Sun, and a year on this world lasts 24 days.The discovery was entered into NASA's Exoplanet Archive on June 3, and astronomers believe the planet remains relatively cold because its star would also be on the colder side.

Details of TOI 1231 b, the planet 90 light-years from Earth

Although not habitable because of its size, TOI 1231 b could offer scientists the chance to capture a sort of "barcode" of the atmosphere of a temperate exoplanet the size of Neptune. This could allow comparisons with similar worlds elsewhere in the galaxy, leading to potentially profound insights into the composition and formation of exoplanets and planetary systems, including Earth. Using a technique called transmission spectroscopy, scientists should be able to use the Hubble Space Telescope, and soon the more sensitive James Webb Space Telescope, to capture starlight shining through TOI-1231 b's atmosphere and reveal what gases are present in its atmosphere.

The planet's red dwarf star, though small, is quite bright in the infrared part of the light spectrum. The hypothesis is that there are clouds in TOI-1231 b's atmosphere, perhaps even made of water. The exomond is moving so rapidly that hydrogen atoms escaping the planet's atmosphere could be easily detected. Each time the planet passes in front of its star, telescopes would be able to see, through superposition, clouds in its atmosphere in which it is thought there could be H2O and probably some form of life.

The study of exoplanets is of increasing interest to scientists who, in addition to TOI-1231 b, are also focusing attention on other formations in the galaxy, sort of super-Earths and gaseous exolunas with liquid water that could be habitable.

Stefania Bernardini