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New Sub-Neptune-Sized Exoplanet – Discovered

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An artist’s impression shows an exoplanet orbiting the Sun-like star. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

An international team of astronomers have discovered a new, temperate sub-Neptune-sized exoplanet with a 24-day orbital period orbiting a nearby M dwarf star.

The exoplanet, TOI-1231 b, was detected using photometric data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and followed up with observations using the Planet Finder Spectrograph (PFS) on the Magellan Clay telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The PFS is a sophisticated instrument that detects exoplanets through their gravitational influence on their host stars.

As the planets orbit their hosts, the measured stellar velocities vary periodically, revealing the planetary presence and information about their mass and orbit.

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