Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Authors: Jennifer Chu, MIT News

Published Date: Wed, 15 May 2024 05:00:00 -0400

Summary: Astronomers from MIT and the University of Liège have discovered a new Earth-sized planet, SPECULOOS-3b, orbiting a cool dwarf star just 55 light years away. Unlike Earth, this planet likely has no atmosphere due to intense radiation from its nearby star, making it a blistering, airless rock. The planet completes an orbit in just 17 hours, receiving 16 times more radiation than Earth does from the sun. Researchers believe studying SPECULOOS-3b could reveal details about its rocky surface and geological history, possibly using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. This discovery marks a significant step in exoplanetary studies, moving towards understanding the surface properties of planets beyond our solar system.

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