A planet approximately 90 light-years away from our planet resembles Neptune a bit too much.
It is a gaseous planet with a possibly rich atmosphere, ready to be studied.
The planet is approximately 3.5 times as big around as our planet and warm by Earthly standards (57 degrees Celsius).
However, astronomers from NASA believe that it is one of the “coolest” comparatively minor planets known currently and in a favorable position for the components of its atmosphere to be analyzed by space telescopes.
The planet is known as TOI-1231 b, and it orbits a dwarf star, which is smaller but older than our Sun.
A year on the planet is only 24 days long.
The world manages to stay cool despite its proximity to the star thanks to a critical fact – The star is also on the cooler side.
The planet is inhabitable due to its size. Still, it may provide scientists with a favorable possibility of capturing a “bar-code” type reading of the atmosphere of a template, Neptune-like exoplanet.
That would allow for future comparisons with comparable planets elsewhere in the galaxy, providing possibly deep insights into the composition and makeup of exoplanets and their planetary systems.
Scientists may have observed evidence of clouds (maybe even made of water) in the planet’s atmosphere.
As the star and its planet system move rapidly from our planet, hydrogen atoms released from the planet’s atmosphere may be easily detectable.
Therefore, the planet may turn out to present a tail.
Generally speaking, such atoms are nearly indetectable even with space-based devices. Their presence is detectable thanks to the outer wisps of Earth’s atmosphere and by interstellar gas.
However, the TOI-1231 system moves so fast that the escaping hydrogen atoms get shifted out of phase from the blocking material. They may be detected by telescopes such as the Hubble telescope.