A Canadian Scientist Just Helped Discover A New Exoplanet The Size Of Neptune
No aliens, though.
Finding a new celestial body is no small feat, despite their size. A new exoplanet discovery was just made with help from a Canadian scientist. The Neptune-sized object orbits around a distant star.
The discovery was revealed in a scientific paper published in Nature on June 25.
According to a news release from Espace pour la vie in Montreal, Jonathan Gagné, a former postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Research on Exoplanets at Université de Montréal, helped to make the discovery.
Gagné now works as a scientific advisor at Montreal's Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan.
Utilizing NASA's TESS and Spitzer space telescopes, the team of researchers was able to locate the exoplanet after 15 years of searching.
revolves around AU Microscopii (AU Mic for short), a young star about 32 light-years from Earth, and with half the mass of our own sun.
The exoplanet has been given the designation AU Mic b. It's maybe not, but it gets the job done.
They started by observing the star using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility.
However, with more data needed to determine the exoplanet's existence, they turned to NASA satellites.
The team was able to determine the existence of AU Mic b by observing the exoplanet's.
They not only determined that it was about the size of Neptune, but also that it has rings and makes a full revolution in just eight and a half days.
Scientists will continue to study AU Mic b in order to determine if it's anything like Earth or if it's more similar to Neptune.
The team will likely also be trying to detect the exoplanet's atmosphere, as well as determine any effects that the star might have on it.
There are very few known star systems like AU Mic, so this is a significant discovery for the team of scientists who will be carrying on further studies.