Using NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), an international team of astronomers has detected a new alien world.
The newfound exoplanet, designated TOI-2196 b, turns out to be a type of a rare "hot sub-Neptune."
TESS is conducting a survey of about 200,000 of the brightest stars near the sun with the aim of searching for transiting exoplanets.
It has identified over 5,800 candidate exoplanets (TESS Objects of Interest, or TOI), of which 233 have been confirmed so far.
A transit signal has been identified in the light curve of a G-type star known as TOI-2196.
The planetary nature of this signal was confirmed by follow-up radial velocity (RV) measurements with the HARPS spectrograph on the ESO 3.6 m telescope in Chile.
The analysis of the hot and volatile rich planet TOI-2196 b. It is smaller than Neptune but 50% more massive, resulting in a high bulk density for this type of planet.
The observations found that TOI-2196 b is about 3.5 times larger than the Earth and 26 times more massive than our planet. This gives a bulk density at a level of approximately 3.31 g/cm3.
The astronomers noted that TOI-2196 b is a hot sub-Neptune and represents the so-called hot Neptune desert.
According to the study, the host star TOI-2196 is the size and mass of the sun. It has an effective temperature of 5,634 K and its age is estimated to be 4.5 billion years.
The astronomers suppose that the star may be orbited by another object. However, long-term RV monitoring is needed in order to verify this hypothesis.