In a groundbreaking discovery, the scientific community has discovered a new planet located 245 light-years away from Earth. This planet, named TOI-733b, is slightly less than twice the size of the Earth’s radius, and attracted the attention of astronomers due to its unique feature – the presence of an atmosphere.
According to a study published in the prestigious astronomical journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, experts have put forward two versions regarding the nature of the atmosphere of TOI-733b. The first hypothesis suggests that the planet may have lost its atmospheric layer, while the second hypothesis suggests that it may be a “heavily irradiated oceanic world.”
The study found that TOI-733b has a density of 3.98 grams per cubic centimeter, slightly lower than Earth’s density of 5.51 grams per cubic centimeter, but higher than that of Mars. In addition, the planet orbits a star that is slightly smaller than the Sun and travels its way in just 4.9 days.
TOI-733b’s proximity to its host star helps explain the first scenario proposed by scientists. Being in such proximity to the star, the planet’s atmosphere could gradually vaporize, leaving it as a dry rock devoid of a gaseous layer. However, scientists are also considering an alternative hypothesis – TOI-733b could be an oceanic planet.
The latest discovery draws attention to the similarities between TOI-733b and Neptune, albeit on a smaller scale. Both planets are characterized by a decrease in size due to loss of atmosphere. While this finding supports the theory, scientists are still unsure of the cause of this phenomenon. It remains unclear whether it is the influence of the star or the heat emitted by the planets themselves.
The question of the existence of extraterrestrial life has long interested mankind, fueling our curiosity and desire to explore. In recent years, scientists have focused their attention on a certain type of celestial bodies – exoplanets and moons – on which oceans may exist. These water-bearing worlds are considered potential habitats for life beyond Earth.
Exoplanets orbiting stars outside our solar system have revolutionized our understanding of the universe. Some of these newly discovered planets exhibit favorable conditions that suggest the presence of oceans. One such planet is Proxima Centauri b, the closest known exoplanet to our solar system. It orbits within the habitable zone of its host star and has a rocky composition, making it a prime candidate for the presence of liquid water on its surface.
Ongoing work to study and preserve these intriguing celestial bodies is driven by the possibility of detecting extraterrestrial organisms. Scientists are exploring various methods to detect and analyze the composition of exoplanets and moons with potential oceans, hoping to unlock the secrets of these distant worlds.
In conclusion, the discovery of TOI-733b has galvanized the scientific community. Its unique atmosphere and potential as an oceanic planet has opened up new avenues for research and exploration. As our understanding of exoplanets and water-bearing worlds expands, so too does our hope of finding life beyond Earth.