Newly discovered planet could have water clouds
June 10, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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Scientists have discovered an exoplanet located 90 light-years from Earth with an atmosphere that could contain water clouds. The exoplanet, called TOI-1231 b, is considered a sub-Neptune because it's larger than Earth, but smaller than Neptune.
The exoplanet has a low density, which suggests it's a gaseous planet rather than a rocky one like Earth, but scientists don't yet know for certain the composition of the planet or its atmosphere.
The similarly small exoplanet K2-18 b, discovered in 2015, was recently observed in more detail, and researchers found evidence of water in its atmosphere.
"TOI-1231 b is one of the only other planets we know of in a similar size and temperature range, so future observations of this new planet will let us determine just how common (or rare) it is for water clouds to form around these temperate worlds," Burt said in a statement.
So far, TESS has helped scientists find large and small exoplanets orbiting stars like our sun as well as the smaller M dwarf stars.