An international team led by the University of Bern has discovered a “mini-Neptune” exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf-type star. According to the work, published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, it is the most “eccentric” planet ever discovered near a cold star.
Nicole Schench’s team at the Center for Space and Habitability at the University of Bern discovered this exoplanet named TOI-2257 b using the transit method. The latter involves observing the decrease in the brightness of the star during the passage of the planet and allows the orbit and diameter to be deduced.
Specifically, the researchers used data collected by the SAINT-EX (Searching and Characterization of Transiting Exoplanets) telescope located in Mexico. They were able to determine that TOI-2257 b orbits its star in 35 days and has a radius slightly more than twice that of Earth.
a unique class
This exoplanet does not describe a cycle around its star, but it has a notably eccentric orbit, meaning that the temperature there oscillates between -80 °C and +100 °C, notes Nicole Schaen. Points out, which was quoted in a press release from the university on Friday. ,
According to the authors, this unprecedented trajectory near a red dwarf can be explained by the presence of a giant planet in the system. Additional research may confirm this, especially thanks to the James-Webb Space Telescope launched on December 25.
Several Swiss teams have achieved observation times on this telescope, which should revolutionize the study of the universe, and exoplanets in particular.
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