Astronomers discover new planet as big as Neptune using NASA's TESS and Spitzer space telescopes

The study reveals that the planet is up to 58 times as massive as the Earth and completes an orbit every 8.5 days.


A new study now says that there is a planet the size of Neptune about 32 light-years away from Earth. It has been discovered around the young star AU Microscopii, which is said to be 20 or 30 million years old - 180 times younger than the sun.

According to a report by EurekAlertAU Microscopii was found to be surrounded by a large disc of debris in the 2000s. Since then, astrophysicists have been looking for planets around the young star.

However, not only the debris disk around the star troubled planet hunters, but its magnetic field also made their work complicated.

 Astronomers discover new planet as big as Neptune using NASAs TESS and Spitzer space telescopes

This is an artist's impression of the view from the vicinity of a hypothetical terrestrial planet and moon orbiting the red dwarf star AU Microscopii. Image credit: : NASA, ESA and G. Bacon

The new planet named AU Mic b has been discovered with the help of NASA's TESS and Spitzer space telescopes. The findings of the study have been published in the journal Nature.

The study reveals that the planet is up to 58 times as massive as the Earth and completes an orbit every 8.5 days.

According to Cnetthe discovery of the young planet will be advantageous for astronomers as it will give them a chance to understand planetary formation processes and how they (planets) evolve over time.

The astronomers suspect that AU Mic b is a gaseous planet and may be losing some of its atmosphere as it moves around its star.

"This star probably hasn't had time to form small, rocky planets yet. It gives us a chance to get a picture of what might have happened before our own terrestrial planets like Earth and Venus formed," said Tom Barclay, a scientist at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.


Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.