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TOI-1231 b : A Cooler Exoplanet with Water Clouds Discovered

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Neptune-like planet, named TOI-1231 bA Team of International Astronomers, discovered an exoplanet located 90 light-years away from Earth which has a Cooler atmosphere (57 Celsius) and has the possibility of having water clouds. The exoplanet called “TOI-1231 b”, orbits an M-type, dwarf star in 24 days.

i.TOI-1231 b, with almost the size of Neptune, was discovered using NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

ii.Once discovered by TESS, other observations are made using Planet Finder Spectrograph on the Magellan Clay telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.

Note – Exoplanets are planets located outside our Solar System, and orbits a star similar to Earth & Sun.

iii.Although the planet is uninhabitable, it is one of the coolest planets discovered by scientists.

How does TESS work?

TESS uses the Transit Method to detect exoplanets. That is, when a planet crosses in front of its star during orbit, it blocks a certain amount of light. This dip in the visible light of the Star is called Transit.

M dwarf stars are smaller in size, thus the amount of light blocked by a planet orbiting them is larger, which makes the transit more detectable.

  • TESS is a Space Telescope launched by NASA in 2018 to conduct Exoplanetary studies.

Note – James Webb Space Telescope (JWST/Webb) jointly developed by NASA-ESA-CSA is set to launch in November 2021, it will succeed the Hubble Space Telescope which was launched in 1990.

Recent Related News:

ISRO completed the development of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) called ‘NISAR’ (NASA-ISRO SAR) which is capable of producing high-resolution images. It will be used for the Joint Earth Observation Satellite Mission of ISRO & NASA, USA.

About NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration):

Established – July 1958
NASA Administrator – Bill Nelson
Chief Scientist – Jim Green