As in Interstellar: astronomers have discovered a super-oceanic planet

An international team of scientists led by Charles Cadieux of the University of Montreal has announced the discovery of the exoplanet TOI-1452 b, which orbits one of the stars of a binary system located in the constellation of Draco, in a distance of about 100 light years from Earth.

It is assumed that this planet is a super-Earth and is completely covered by ocean. The discovery is reported in an article published in The Astronomical Journal.

The exoplanet was found using the TESS space telescope, which revealed a dip in the brightness of the star TOI-1452 every 11 days, which corresponds to the passage of a planet 70% larger than the Earth in the bottom of the disc.

Astronomers have confirmed that the candidate object is indeed a terrestrial superplanet thanks to ground observations at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory (OMM).

Planet TOI-1452 has a radius and mass that indicate a much lower density (5.6 grams per cubic centimeter) than one would expect from a rocky super-Earth. Water could make up 30 percent of an exoplanet’s mass, while Earth’s oceans make up less than one percent of the planet’s mass.

This corresponds to the proportion of subglacial oceans on some solar system moons, such as Jupiter’s moons Ganymede and Callisto, or Saturn’s moons Titan and Enceladus.

The planet orbits the parent star TOI-1452 in 11 days. The star itself is a red dwarf, much smaller than the Sun, and orbits a companion of the same type at a relatively close distance of 97 astronomical units, or 2.5 times the distance between the Sun and Pluto. .

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