The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced the recent discovery of a planet that it described as “alien”, which sparked the interest of scientists during their search for extraterrestrial life, as it could be amazingly similar to our planet.
NASA explained that the planet, named TOI-1231 b, has an “unknown” atmosphere remarkably similar to the neighboring planets, and the planet revolves around a star known as the “red dwarf” every 24 days.
The newspaper pointed out that researchers from a laboratory belonging to NASA and the University of New Mexico discovered the planet outside the solar system orbiting the red dwarf star, which scientists were able to distinguish, and measure the radius and mass of the planet, which provided them with necessary data about its atmosphere.
She explained that the planet has a moderate body similar to the size of the planet Neptune and revolves around the star every 24 days, which is eight times closer to its star than Earth to the sun, but its temperature is similar to our planet because the red dwarf itself is less powerful.
The planet’s atmosphere has a temperature of about 330 K, or 140 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the best accessible small exoplanets for atmospheric studies discovered so far.
The newspaper added that it is possible that there are high clouds in the atmosphere, and perhaps evidence of the presence of water.
“Future observations of the planet will allow us to determine how common or rare water clouds form around these temperate planets,” said Jennifer Burt, a scientist at NASA’s laboratory.
She added that more studies are needed to understand precisely how the planet was formed, and pointed out that the planet’s atmosphere is unknown.
“One of the most interesting findings of the last two decades is that so far none of the planetary systems we’ve discovered look like our own solar system,” Burt said.
She added that this new planet is still strange, but it is somewhat closer to Earth, compared to most of the planets discovered so far, which often have extreme temperatures of several hundred or thousands of degrees.