A group of astronomers affiliated with Université de Montréal, Canada, discovered an exoplanet where, like in the 2014 movie Interstellar, a year takes a fraction of the time it takes the Earth to orbit our Sun.
“I’m extremely proud of this discovery because it shows the high caliber of our researchers and instrumentation,” states René Doyon, Professor at Université de Montréal. “It is thanks to the OMM, a special instrument designed in our labs called SPIRou and an innovative analytic method developed by our research team that we were able to detect this one-of-a-kind exoplanet.”
Astronomers were using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS, when they first spotted TOI-1452 in the Draco constellation, some 100 light years from Earth. While Earth takes 365 days to complete a rotation around the Sun, TOI-1452 does it in 11 days. With a mass almost five times and a size 70% larger than our home planet, TOI-1452 could be an ‘ocean planet’ entirely covered by a thick layer of water and bottomless oceans, like on ‘Miller’s Planet’ in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, where an endless ocean seems to cover the whole surface. Astronomers will likely use NASA’s James Webb telescope to make scientific observations to determine if the planet has the right conditions to sustain life and learn more about this world.