Like in Interstellar: Astronomers Discover a Super-Ocean Planet
An international team of scientists led by Charles Cadieux of the University of Montreal 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, at a distance of about 100 years from Earth. .
This planet is supposed to be a super-Earth and is completely covered by ocean. The discovery is reported in a paper published in The Astronomical Journal.
The exoplanet was found using the TESS space telescope, which revealed a drop in the brightness of the star TOI-1452 every 11 days, which corresponds to the passage of a planet 70% larger than Earth at the bottom of the disk.
Astronomers have confirmed that the candidate object is indeed an Earth superplanet thanks to ground-based 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 for a rocky super-Earth. Water can make up 30% of an exoplanet’s mass, while Earth’s oceans make up less than 1% 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. .