Scientists discover new exoplanet with an atmosphere ripe for study

One international collaborators group, including researchers from The University of New Mexico and Jet Propulsion Lab of Nasa have found one new exoplanet orbiting a close by M-dwarf star.

The sub-Neptune sized exoplanet, which has a 24-day orbital period, offers interesting research opportunities due to the planet’s distinct small star, atmosphere and the speed at which its moving farther away from our planet.

The study has been titled ‘TOI-1231 b: A Temperate, Neptune-Sized Planet Transiting the Nearby M3 Dwarf NLTT 24399.’

The TOI-1231 b exoplanet was discovered using photometric information from Nasa’s TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Satellite), followed by observations with the help of PFS (Planet Finder Spectrograph) on Magellan Clay Telescope in Chile.

PFS is an elegant instrument that has the ability to detect exoplanet via their gravitational impact on the host stars. The measured stellar velocity varies periodically when the planets orbit the host star, displaying planetary presence as well as data related to their orbit and mass.

The M-dwarf stars, also called red dwarf star, are a common kind of star in our Milky Way, accounting for around 70% of all the stars in galaxy. As they are smaller in size, when an exoplanet transits the M-star, the light that’s blocked by the exoplanet is bigger, making transit much easy to detect.

Notably, the study will appear in The Astronomical Journal’s future issue.

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