A new exoplanet is discovered in a very elongated orbit

(ORDO NEWS) — An international research team has discovered a sub-Neptune-class exoplanet that orbits a red dwarf. This discovery was made with the help of the SAINT-EX observatory located in Mexico.

Red dwarfs are stars that are much smaller and colder than our Sun. On the surfaces of planets orbiting such stars, the existence of liquid water is possible if the planet is located closer to the star, compared to our solar system.

The distance between the planet and its parent star plays a decisive role in detecting the planet – the closer the planet lies to the parent star, the higher the probability of its detection.

In a new study, scientists led by Nicole Schanche of the University of Bern, Switzerland, report the discovery of exoplanet TOI-2257 b in orbit around a nearby red dwarf.

Planet TOI-2257 b was originally identified by NASA‘s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) by the transit method.

The essence of the transit method is that the planet, passing in front of the parent star, absorbs part of its light, therefore each such passage is accompanied by a periodic decrease in the brightness of the star.

Scientists observed this small star for a total of four months, but the intervals between observations did not allow us to understand exactly what the orbital period of the transit planet was – 176, 88, 59, 44 or 35 days.

More recent observations with the Las Cumbres Global Telescope have eliminated an orbital period of 59 days. Next, to test the hypothesis of a 35-day orbital period, astronomers pointed the SAINT-EX telescope located in Mexico at this system, and were able to observe another full transit, thereby confirming the original assumption.

Planet TOI-2257 b revolves at such a distance from the star that liquid water can exist on its surface, but this planet is unlikely to be habitable – it appears to be a gas giant (its size is about 2.2 times the size of the Earth ), on the surface of which high gas pressure does not favor the origin and evolution of life, the authors pointed out.

Also, Shangche and her team point out that the planet TOI-2257 b revolves around its star not in a circular, but in a very elongated orbit, the shape of which may be associated with the gravitational effect of another, not yet discovered giant planet. In fact, planet TOI-2257 b orbits the most eccentric planet known to science orbiting cool stars, they add.

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