HomeTop StoriesAstronomers Discover New Earth-Sized Planet Orbiting Jupiter-Sized Red Dwarf Star

Astronomers Discover New Earth-Sized Planet Orbiting Jupiter-Sized Red Dwarf Star

Summary: Astronomers have made an exciting discovery: a new Earth-sized planet orbiting an ultracool dwarf star, Speculoos-3b. This exoplanet, located just 55 light-years away from Earth, presents unique characteristics and offers valuable insights into planetary formation and habitability.

In a significant breakthrough, astronomers have identified a novel addition to our celestial neighborhood: an Earth-sized planet known as Speculoos-3b orbiting an ultracool dwarf star. This discovery, made possible by the SPECULOOS project, sheds light on the diversity of exoplanetary systems and holds implications for the search for extraterrestrial life.

Speculoos-3b’s host star, an ultracool dwarf similar in size to Jupiter, resides a mere 55 light-years away from Earth. Despite its diminutive stature—ten times less massive and a hundred times less luminous than our Sun—this red dwarf plays host to a fascinating planetary companion.

Speculoos-3b completes a full orbit around its parent star in a mere 17 hours, resulting in a planetary year shorter than a single Earth day. Moreover, the planet is likely tidally locked, meaning that one side perpetually faces the star while the other remains in perpetual darkness.

The discovery of Speculoos-3b marks a significant milestone in the study of exoplanets orbiting ultracool dwarf stars. As one of only a handful of Earth-sized planets found in such systems, Speculoos-3b offers valuable insights into planetary formation and the potential for habitability beyond our solar system.

The SPECULOOS project, a collaborative effort involving multiple research institutions, aims to identify exoplanets orbiting ultracool dwarf stars using a network of robotic telescopes positioned around the globe. This innovative approach has already yielded several groundbreaking discoveries, with Speculoos-3b standing out as a particularly noteworthy find.

As scientists continue to unravel the mysteries of distant worlds, discoveries like Speculoos-3b underscore the remarkable diversity of planetary systems in our galaxy and fuel hopes of finding Earth-like worlds capable of supporting life.

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