TOI-1231 b - A weird' Neptune like exoplanet that could have water clouds and a tail

A newly discovered exoplanet that is beyond our solar system, called TOI-1231 b and is located about 90 light-years away from Earth as per NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). It is actually bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune, researchers have started calling it “a sub-Neptune”.

A new planet that is relatable to Neptune could help us better understand distant planetary systems, as well as our own, according to NASA. But, sadly, it’s doubtful if humans will ever reach this distant, gaseous world.

TOI-1231 b happens to be more than 3.5 times bigger than Earth and it is uncomfortably warm by Human standards, as it has temperatures as high as 330 K (57 degrees Celsius, 135 degrees Fahrenheit). Although, when compared to the rest of the known universe it’s actually one of the “coolest” small planets to be known till now.

TOI-1231 b is classified as an exoplanet technically since it is a planet orbiting another M-type star, as in this case, a red-dwarf star, which is smaller than our own Sun but at the same time has a longer life span. it orbits the red-dwarf star once every 24 days, therefore it has a very short year.

TOI-1231 b - A weird' Neptune like exoplanet that could have water clouds and a tail

For a fact, TOI-1231 b is located some 90 light-years from Earth. For reference, one light-year is the equivalent of about 6 trillion miles (9 trillion km). It might not be such a misfortune as it sounds, because, according to NASA, the planet is uninhabitable because of its large size.

NASA said that it’s possible that researchers might find evidence of water-based clouds in the planet’s atmosphere. As the distant planet system is moving at a high velocity away from Earth, it’s likely that hydrogen atoms leaving the planet’s atmosphere will make TOI-1231 b appear to have a ‘tail’.

Let us know in the comments, what do you guys think of this!


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