The scientific community recently found a new planet called TOI-733b. It is situated 245 light-years away from Earth. It’s a bit smaller than Earth but has a unique feature – its atmosphere.
Lost Atmosphere & Oceanic World:
Experts have two possible explanations for this planet. First, it might have lost its atmosphere, or second, it could be a “highly irradiated (exposed to radiations) oceanic world.”
Less Denser Than Earth & More Denser Than Mars:
This information comes from a study in the specialized astronomy journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, which also mentions that TOI-733b has a density of 3.98 grams per cubic centimeter. To put it simply, it’s a bit less dense than Earth but denser than Mars.
New planet TOI-733B discovered has a massive ocean and it’s not too far from Earth
The Astronomy & Astrophysics article also mentions that TOI-733b orbits a star slightly smaller than the Sun and completes its orbit in just 4.9 days.
This close proximity to the star is a key factor in explaining the first of the two scenarios proposed by scientists regarding its atmosphere.
Currently, TOI-733b is a dry, rocky planet without a gaseous layer. Scientists suggest this could be due to its close proximity to its Sun, causing its atmosphere to evaporate over time.
However, there’s another hypothesis they are considering. It’s possible that TOI-733b might actually be an oceanic planet.
TOI-733b is similar to a mini Neptune
Another noteworthy finding emphasized in the article is the resemblance between TOI-733b and other planets with similar traits, albeit on a smaller scale compared to Neptune. These types of planets share a common feature – they are gradually shrinking due to the loss of their atmospheres.
While this recent discovery appears to lend support to this theory, it remains uncertain what or who is accountable for this phenomenon. The question of whether it’s the proximity to their parent stars or the heat they emit themselves that causes this remains unanswered.
When was TOI 733b discovered?
It is an exoplanet categorized as a super-Earth, and it circles a G-type star. It has a mass equivalent to 5.72 times that of Earth, completes one orbit around its star. This was discovered in 2023.
How far is Toi 733b?
This exoplanet is located about 245.5 light-years (75.3 pc) away from Solar System.
Has a planet like Earth been discovered?
Leveraging data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, researchers have pinpointed a planet named TOI 700 e, which shares the size of Earth and orbits within the habitable zone of its star. This zone represents the region around a star where conditions are conducive to the existence of liquid water on a planet’s surface. TOI 700 e is almost 95% the size of Earth.
Does TOI-733b have water?
The research team turned their attention to TOI-733b following the acquisition of data from NASA’s TESS telescope. The planet’s density provides two possible explanations: it’s either completely enveloped in water, or it has completely lost its atmosphere. Indications lean towards the notion that TOI-733b’s atmosphere is gradually dissipating over time.
Other moons and new planets that may have oceans
For centuries, the existence of extraterrestrial life has ignited our collective curiosity and drive for exploration. Today, we’re focusing that curiosity on a very specific type of celestial body: exoplanets and moons that might host oceans. That is why Toi-733b has been recently discovered.
Scientists believe that these water-bearing worlds could potentially harbor life, making them a focal point in our search for extraterrestrial organisms. Below is an overview of these intriguing celestial bodies and discusses the ongoing efforts to study and conserve them.
Exoplanets with Potential Oceans
The detection of exoplanets, which are planets circling stars beyond our solar system, has revolutionized our search for extraterrestrial life. Some of these newly found planets, due to their favorable conditions, hold promise as potential hosts for oceans.
Proxima Centauri b
Proxima Centauri b, the nearest exoplanet to our solar system, orbits within the habitable zone of its host star. Its mass indicates it likely has a rocky makeup, and whether it has liquid water on its surface is a subject of ongoing scientific research.
The TRAPPIST-1 system, situated approximately 40 light-years away, contains seven Earth-sized planets, which have garnered significant attention.
Kepler-22b is the first known exoplanet located within the habitable zone of a star similar to our Sun. There’s a possibility that it could have liquid water, but scientists are still working to figure out the makeup of this super-Earth-sized planet. It is much like Toi-733b.
Moons with Potential Oceans
In our own solar system, several moons show signs of harboring subsurface oceans, fueling the possibility of life.
This Jupiter moon, heated by the gravitational pull of Jupiter, probably has a subsurface ocean twice the size of all the Earth’s oceans combined. The icy surface strongly suggests the presence of this hidden saltwater ocean.
Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus has a subsurface ocean beneath its southern pole. Scientists think that the water vapor plumes shooting out from its surface are direct proof of this concealed ocean.
Saturn’s moon Titan is unique among moons because it has a significant atmosphere. Radar and infrared observations have shown the existence of lakes filled with hydrocarbons. While these aren’t water, they still qualify as liquid surface reservoirs.
Exploration of Exoplanets and Moons: Paving the Way into Further Study of Toi-733b:
We’re exploring distant planets like Toi-733b and need to be cautious not to harm them with Earth microbes, following planetary protection rules like the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. COSPAR sets guidelines for spacecraft cleanliness. Our technology limits our study of ocean worlds, but upcoming missions like NASA’s Europa Clipper and the European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) will help. Protecting these places is crucial as we search for alien life in the vast cosmic ocean, where unimaginable life forms might exist.