Scientists discover an exoplanet covered in water;  The Brazilian is in the collection - Estadao

Scientists discover an exoplanet covered in water; The Brazilian is in the collection – Estadao

A planet outside Solar SystemIt was recently discovered by a group of 41 astrophysicists who are part of an international research center made up of representatives from several countries, including Brazil. One of those who signed the discovery called TOI-1452b is Professor José-Dias do Nascimento, from the Department of Theoretical and Experimental Physics at Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN). He is also a researcher at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University, in the United States.

The discovery was published in the scientific journal Astronomical Journal This month (TOI-1452b: SPIRou and TESS reveal a super-Earth in a temperate orbit crossing the M4 dwarf).

Also called “super-Earth” or “super-ocean” due to its characteristics, TOI-1452b is located 100,000 light-years away from where we live. For astronomer José-Dias do Nascimento, discoveries like this represent an important step in understanding cosmic diversity and learning just how rare vital parameters are here on Earth. “TOI-1452b is likely to be a rocky planet like Earth, but its radius, mass, and density point to a different world than ours,” he explains. According to the astronomer, water can account for 22% of its mass, which is similar to that of Jupiter’s moons – Ganymede and Callisto – and Saturn’s moons – Titan and Enceladus.

As detailed in the scientific journal publication, TOI-1452b has a radius of 1.67 times the radius of Earth and an 11-day orbit around the dwarf star M. The discovery was made by SPIRou, a new global hunter tool that uses light to… Infrared radiation from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), installed on the summit of Mount Monaki, in Hawaii (USA).

SPIRou (short for InfraRed Spectro Polarimeter) is a specialized near-infrared astronomical instrument designed to detect and characterize neighboring exoplanet systems in our solar system, as well as monitor the birth of stars and planets. It has been installed on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) since early 2018, and has already made several detections.

José-Dias do Nascimento, researcher at UFRN: “TOI-1452b remains a unique system when studying exoplanets in the transition between super-Earths and small Neptune.” take photo: personal group

Sometimes called the “water world”, TOI-1452b is already one of the main goals for future atmospheric characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and for analysis through transmission spectroscopy. The system is located near the JWST Continuous Monitoring Area, which means it can be tracked at almost any time of the year. “TOI-1452b remains a unique system when studying exoplanets in the transition between super-Earths and small Neptune,” says Jose Dias.

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The astronomer and researchers who are part of the Structure, Stellar Evolution and Exoplanets Group (Ge3), which he coordinates at UFRN, study the evolution and structure of stars and the exoplanets. They have worked on the search for exoplanets, among other topics, and have published several discoveries in recent years. The new discovery adds to the group’s previous discoveries, such as the hot TOI-257b (HD 19916) and the hot Saturn TOI 197b.

“This is an important discovery for our group at UFRN, as, in just under three years, we are announcing the fourth exoplanet with our participation. The previous type was TOI-257b, which is an example of what we call “sub-Saturn,” which are planets larger than Neptune and smaller than Saturn Now we’re revealing a super-Earth. “These stars are absent in the structure of our solar system, although they are possible,” Jose Dias said.

Super-Earth is an exoplanet with a mass greater than that of Earth, but much less than the mass of the solar system’s ice giants Uranus and Neptune. It can be made of gas, rock, or a combination of both. They range from twice the size of our star and up to 10 times as massive.

In Lessons from the Exoplanets, José Dias do Nascimento stated that the universe is a strange and diverse place, with many types of celestial bodies. “There are sub-Saturns, super-Earths, and small Neptune. These are not in the backyard, solar system, and discoveries like this reveal the remaining cosmic diversity.”

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