Researchers find a “ocean planet” where a year only lasts 11 days

Scientists have found a “aqua planet” that reminds them of the post-apocalyptic action movie Waterworld, which starred Kevin Costner and came out in 1995.

They say that the world, which is 100 light-years away, is completely covered in water, like some of Jupiter’s and Saturn’s moons.

It’s a little bit bigger and heavier than Earth, and it’s far enough from its star that life could live there.

Researchers from all over the world found the exoplanet TOI-1452 b. It orbits one of two small stars in a binary system in the Draco constellation.

Charles Cadieux, a PhD student at the Université de Montréal and a member of the Institute for Research on Exoplanets, was in charge of them (iREx).

The researchers found the exoplanet with the help of NASA’s space telescope TESS, which looks at the whole sky for planetary systems similar to our own.

Every 11 days, a signal from TESS showed a small drop in brightness. This led astronomers to think that there might be a planet about 70% bigger than Earth.

‘I’m extremely proud of this discovery because it shows the high calibre of our researchers and instrumentation,’ said René Doyon, Université de Montréal Professor and Director of iREx and of the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic (OMM).

“We were able to find this one-of-a-kind exoplanet with the help of the OMM, a special instrument we made in our labs called SPIRou, and a new way of analyzing data that our research team came up with,” they said.

The host star of the exoplanet, TOI-1452, is much smaller than our sun. It is one of two stars in a binary system that are about the same size.

The two stars orbit each other, and the distance between them is so small—97 astronomical units, or about two and a half times the distance between the sun and Pluto—that the TESS telescope sees them as a single point of light.

Astronomers were able to prove that TOI-1452 b does orbit TOI-1452 by making more observations.

Then, it took them more than 50 hours to figure out the mass of the planet, which is thought to be almost five times that of Earth.

The experts think that the exoplanet TOI-1452 b is probably rocky like our planet, but that its size, mass, and density point to a world that is very different from ours.

Earth has very little water on it. Even though it is sometimes called the Blue Planet because water covers about 70% of its surface, water only makes up less than 1% of its mass.

In the past few years, astronomers have found and measured a lot of exoplanets that are between the size of Earth and Neptune (about 3.8 times larger than Earth).

Some of them have a density that can only be explained if a lot of their mass is made up of things like water that are lighter than the materials that make up the inside of the Earth.

These made-up worlds have been given the name “ocean planets.”

‘TOI-1452 b is one of the best candidates for an ocean planet that we have found to date,’ said Cadieux.

‘Its radius and mass suggest a much lower density than what one would expect for a planet that is basically made up of metal and rock, like Earth.’

Water may account for up to 30% of TOI-1452 b’s mass, a proportion close to that of some natural satellites in our Solar System, such as Jupiter’s moons Ganymede and Callisto, and Saturn’s moons Titan and Enceladus.

TOI-1452 b is hoped to be an ideal candidate for additional observation by NASA’s new $10 billion (£7.4 billion) James Webb Space Telescope, which began scientific studies last month.

The new discovery was revealed in The Astronomical Journal.

Reference: Universe Magazine

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