An “eccentric Neptune” orbiting the red dwarf star TOI-2257 could be home to aliens.
Research led by astronomer Nicloe Schanche from the University of Bern (Switzerland) shows that the mysterious planet orbiting TOI-2257, located entirely in the habitable zone of its parent star, may possess liquid water. and many conditions suitable for life to multiply.
It is a “sub-Neptune”, a gaseous planet smaller than Neptune, with an orbital period of 35.19 days, named TOI-2257b.
Graphic image depicting the newly discovered planet and the red dwarf star nurturing it – Photo: Sci-News
After identifying it from NASA’s “exoplanet hunter” TESS data, scientists used additional data from several ground-based observatories and obtained quite a bit of data about the animal world. taste.
According to Sci-News, its parent star is an M3-type red dwarf, located in the constellation Camelopardalis, only 31% the size of the Sun and much cooler.
Therefore, TOI-2257b’s short-day orbit accidentally makes it completely in the “life zone” of its parent star, receiving just the right amount of energy to have liquid water.
However, there are also some obstacles: it is a gas planet with high atmospheric pressure, which is not conducive to life. Its slightly elongated oval orbit also causes the average temperature to vary greatly with the seasons, sometimes down to minus 80 degrees Celsius, sometimes up to 100 degrees Celsius. Of course that is the average and some regions on the planet will keep a more friendly temperature.
To know if it is alive or not, scientists will have to wait for more modern observational tools to come out to hopefully find more specific signs.
Another interesting revelation from this new planet is that its oval orbit suggests it must be gravitationally impacted by a giant object lurking in the dark farther from its parent star – possibly a giant planet. has not been observed.
The study has just been published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.
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