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Space & Astronomy

Nearby extrasolar world could be first known ocean planet

By T.K. Randall
August 26, 2022 · Comment icon 33 comments

Have astronomers found a world covered entirely in water ? Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Scientists have identified a relatively nearby exoplanet that appears to be made up almost entirely of water.
The search for life in the universe is synonymous with the search for water and now, if this latest discovery turns out to be correct, scientists may have finally hit the jackpot.

Known as TOI-1452 b, this intriguing extrasolar world is situated only 100 light years away in the Draco constellation and is slightly larger and more massive than the Earth.

What's particularly interesting about it, however, is that its mass is inconsistent with the typical gas giant or rocky terrestrial world, suggesting that it may in fact be comprised mostly of water.

If this is true, then it means that this could be the first known planet with an ocean covering its entire surface.
"TOI-1452 b is one of the best candidates for an ocean planet that we have found to date," said astrophysics student Charles Cadieux from the University of Montreal.

"Its radius and mass suggest a much lower density than what one would expect for a planet that is basically made up of metal and rock, like Earth."

While at present we don't know for sure if the planet is covered in water or not, the James Webb Space Telescope should be able to help unravel the mystery in the near future.

If TOI-1452 b really is an ocean planet, it would be a prime candidate in the search for alien life.

Source: Independent | Comments (33)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by Ell 2 years ago
  Circular reasoning. 1. We assume that there is a planet, we use (2) orbital mechanics to calculate its orbital properties. 3. We conclude that there is a planet, because we have calculated its orbital properties. 4. Hence it is not a planet model, but an orbital mechanics model. However, if there is not a planet, applying orbital mechanics to the data is plain idiocy.   There is no evidence whatsoever that there is a planet.   See? Due to your psychology you are unable to notice some truths.    I did not say that. I said that there is no evidence whatsoever that there is a planet over t... [More]
Comment icon #25 Posted by Grey Area 2 years ago
This process does not start by assuming a planet is present.  It starts by observing a star. A star is observed, a wobble or a transit is detected during that observation.  Thus evidence is established that a planet is orbiting this particular star.  Further research is done on the basis of this evidence.  That is all evidence. Could it be wrong?  Of course it could.  Publication of the results will likely define a margin for error.  If it is incorrect, that’s fine we move on, error is as important as success. Why is this such an issue?
Comment icon #26 Posted by joc 2 years ago
  Do  you have any evidence for that?
Comment icon #27 Posted by Ell 2 years ago
Why? Because something is detected that is interpreted as being caused by a planet. Oh, we observe a 'wobble'! Oh, we observe a 'transit'! So those must be caused by a 'planet'! Those are all interpretations, not facts. The facts are that we observe a regular cyclical shift in spectrum lines. The facts are that we see a periodical dip in the luminescence of the star. Anything else - 'wobble', 'transit', 'planet' - are not facts but interpretations of the facts. Without incontrovertible evidence that the alleged planet does indeed exist, all those interpretations are mere fantasy and the result... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by Grey Area 2 years ago
Not ‘must’ of course not.  But the likelihood is that it is a planet.  If the data has been verified that there is a wobble or whatever, the only thing massive enough to cause such a disturbance is a large body such as a planet.  And bear in mind Neptune was discovered by similar means of prediction, so this is tried and tested.   Well strictly speaking yes.  It’s still good evidence a planet is there.   Yes, and the logical conclusion of said facts is that there is a large body causing said facts to occur.  Be a pretty useless waste of telescope time if we made such observations ... [More]
Comment icon #29 Posted by Abramelin 2 years ago
I just read your pm to me... of 6 years ago. I assumed it had been lost in the Electronic Beyond. But now I know what you think is orbitting that star:
Comment icon #30 Posted by dragon1440 2 years ago
I am not sure about the independent but a lot of the subcrisption websites for newspapers, if you turn off your java or clear your history for that particular page it usally will cheat the system and allow you to view articles.  
Comment icon #31 Posted by dragon1440 2 years ago
I cant see air but I still believe in it because it has been scientifically proven. Just out of curiosity do you believe the moon landing was set on a sound stage and that the earth is flat? Because the only proof we have of both is images, which can be easily faked. 
Comment icon #32 Posted by Abramelin 2 years ago
I won't even bother. If they want me to subscribe, I'll find another site with the same info.
Comment icon #33 Posted by dragon1440 2 years ago
I discovered this trick with the local newspaper because they were the only ones who carried local stories sometimes and only allow three free articles a month. Haha, I will say this trick also works on another "unusual mystery" website that recently went to subion model. LOL

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