An ocean world within reach by James-Webb

Artistic representation of exoplanet TOI-1452 b. – Credit:University of Montreal / Benoît Gougeon

VS’is a timely discovery! An international team of researchers led by Quebecer Charles Cadieux, a doctoral student at the University of Montreal, and his research director, astrophysicist René Doyon, believe they have found an ocean world in orbit around a red dwarf in a binary star system relatively close to the Sun.

Discovered in the constellation of the Dragon, two years ago, thanks to the NASA’s Tess (Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite) space telescope, this exoplanet called TOI-1452b would indeed be only a hundred light years from us. Enough to make this rocky body possibly covered with a thick layer of liquid water, so precious to life, a target of choice for the new James-Webb space telescope.

A very light super-Earth

Indeed, if the authors of the new study published in The Astronomical Journal in September convinced themselves that it was a vast and deep ocean, not at all by direct observation but by deductions and models. First, by analyzing data from Tess, who observed this planet as it transited in front of its star, they were able to find out its size: 70% larger than our planet. The super-Earth kind! They then set out to measure the other determining parameter thanks to which scientists manage to get an idea of ​​what exoplanets look like: their mass.

To do this […] Read more

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