A new exoplanet has been discovered: the size of Earth and covered in volcanoes

According to News news, scientists stated that the newly discovered exoplanet called “LP 791-18 d” is likely covered with volcanoes.

It was noted that the planet in question may be experiencing eruptions like Jupiter’s Io satellite, the most active celestial body in terms of volcanoes in the solar system.

NASA’s statement said the exoplanet was discovered as a result of evaluating data from the Transiting Exoplanet Research Satellite (TESS), the Spitzer Space Telescope, which has expired, and ground-based telescopes.

The discovered exoplanet was reported to be about 90 light-years from Earth, orbiting a red dwarf star, and located in the constellation Crater.


In the statement, which said there are two more planets orbiting the dwarf star, “LP 791-18 b,” one of the planets in question, is 20 percent larger than Earth and is “LP 791-18 c” 2.5 times the size of Earth, but its mass is the same as Earth. It is said to be 7 times larger than .

Astronomers believe the giant planet “LP 791-18 c” may have an effect on the exoplanet’s volcanic activities.

As the two celestial bodies orbit the dwarf star, the gravity of the larger planet changes the orbit of “LP 791-18 d” as the planets converge.

It was noted that each rotation around the star makes the exoplanet’s orbit slightly more oval, warming the planet’s interior and increasing volcanic activity. The same is believed to be happening on Io, which is trapped in the gravitational field between Jupiter and its larger moons.


Ian Crossfield, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas and co-author of the study, said:

“We don’t know if there are volcanoes on the planet. All we know is that ‘LP 791-18 d’ is a small planet that periodically yawns in its orbit because of its orbit around its star and other nearby planets. This is Jupiter’s moon Io, the most volcanically active celestial body in our solar system. “We know this because we’ve sent spacecraft near Io and taken pictures.”

It was reported that scientists estimate that the distance of the newly discovered exoplanet from its star is at the inner edge of the habitable zone, which provides the temperature to sustain the water on the planet’s surface.

“Only one side of LP 791-18 d is facing its star. The day side will probably be too hot to have liquid water on the surface. However, we suspect it is everywhere on the planet,” says Björn Benneke, a lecturer astronomy. at the Trottier Institute for Exoplanet Studies at the University of Montreal and co-author of the study. Volcanic activity can create an atmosphere in which water can condense on the night side,” the statement said.

It has been argued that volcanic activity may actually help the planet maintain an atmosphere, though it appears to be a barrier to water and life.

Jessie Christiansen, a research fellow at NASA California Institute of Technology’s Institute for Exoplanet Science and co-author of the study, noted:

“In astrobiology, which studies the origins of possible life on Earth or other celestial bodies, the biggest question is whether tectonic or volcanic activity is necessary for life. Besides potentially creating an atmosphere, these activities may prevent substances we think that they’re important life, like carbon, getting trapped in the crust and shaking them up.”It can benefit by mixing it up.”

The research has been published in the journal Nature.

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