A newly discovered exoplanet named TOI-1685 b is exceptionally fast moving as astronomers calculated that it zips around its host star every 0.67 Earth days. TOI-1685 b is located approximately 122 light-years away from Earth and it orbits so close to a red dwarf star (also known as M dwarf) that it has an estimated surface temperature of 1,465 degrees Fahrenheit (796 degrees Celsius).
The team of researchers, led by Paz Bluhm from Heidelberg University in Germany, discovered the exoplanet through data gathered by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and confirmed it by data collected by the CARMENES spectrograph instrument on the 3.5-meter telescope at Spain’s Calar Alto Observatory.
They were able to determine that TOI-1685 b is a “super Earth” that is approximately 1.7 times larger than our planet with a mass about 3.8 times greater. Since it has a bulk density of around 4.2 grams per cubic centimeter, it has been described by the researchers as being “the least dense ultra-short period planet around an M dwarf known to date.” To put this into better perspective, Earth has a bulk density of approximately 5.5 grams per cubic centimeter.
What’s even more exciting is that the experts think that a second planet may be orbiting the red dwarf every 9 Earth days but more research needs to be done in order to know for sure. Their research can be read in full here.
In other exoplanet news, an incredibly hot world has been discovered orbiting the famously bright Vega star. The planet, which has yet to be officially confirmed, is approximately the size of Neptune. It was found after researchers analyzed 10 years worth of data gathered by the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Arizona.
Located about 25 light-years away from us in the constellation Lyra, the planet only takes 2.5 Earth days to complete a full orbit around its star which makes it exceptionally hot with a surface temperature of about 5,390 degrees Fahrenheit (2,977 degrees Celsius). Once confirmed, it will be the second-hottest exoplanet found to date with the hottest being KELT-9b that has a surface temperature of 7,800 degrees Fahrenheit (4,316 degrees Celsius).
In a statement, Spencer Hurt, who is the lead author of the study and an undergraduate astronomy student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, said, “This is a massive system, much larger than our own solar system,” adding that there could possibly be other planets in the system that have yet to be discovered.
This is incredibly exciting as astronomers have been searching for planets orbiting Vega for several years. While the exoplanet is waiting to be confirmed, experts are hoping to find out more information regarding the system and possibly find even more planets. (Two photos of the Vega star can be seen here.)
The study was published in The Astronomical Journal where it can be read in full.