'Super-Earth' and 'Sub-Neptune' Found Orbiting Red Dwarf
Scientists have found two exoplanets orbiting a star around 120 light-years from Earth, including a "super-Earth"
BERN, SWITZERLAND — Scientists have found two exoplanets orbiting a red dwarf around 120 light-years from Earth, including a "super-Earth."
The research, published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, notes that exoplanets TOI-1266 b and TOI-1266 c are so close to their star that it takes them just 11 days and 19 days to orbit it.
The inner planet, TOI-1266 b, is considered a "sub-Neptune" as it measures around two-and-a-half times the Earth's diameter.
The outer planet, TOI-1266 c, is just over one-and-a-half times the size of our planet, landing it in the "super-Earth" category.
Both TOI-1266 b and c have similar temperatures and are believed to be of similar densities and comprised of about half of rocky and metallic material and half water, the researchers suggested.
Their host star, TOI-1266, is a red dwarf. Red dwarfs are the smallest and coolest kind of star, which the researchers note could allow for liquid water to exist even on planets that orbit quite close to them.
The researchers were led by scientists from the University of Bern and the University of Geneva and used the SAINT-EX Observatory at the National Astronomical Observatory of Mexico.
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