American astronomers, together with colleagues from other countries, discovered in the Southern Hemisphere an exoplanet the size of the Earth, which orbits its star every 3.14 days.
The new planet was discovered by the Kepler telescope. It was named K2-315b. Researchers estimate that K2-315b has a 0.95 Earth radius, making it one of the few exoplanets similar in size to our “cradle”. The exoplanet revolves around a cold star with a mass five times less than the sun. The planet revolves around its star every 3.14 days at a speed of 81 km / s.
The signals from the planet, which was named K2-315b, were received back in 2017, but they were refined and analyzed only now using the SPECULOOS project – a series of telescopes located in the Atacama Desert in Chile and on the island of Tenerife, engaged in observations of the southern hemisphere of the sky.
The researchers were so surprised by the coincidence of the period of the orbit with the mathematical constant Pi that they gave it the name Pi-planet, enshrined in the name of the study. Rotating at a relatively small distance from the star, such planets in some cases may have the conditions necessary for the formation of life.
Despite the fact that K2-315b looks like Earth, life on it, according to the authors, is hardly possible: due to its proximity to the star, the temperature on its surface should reach 450 Kelvin, or +177 degrees Celsius.
Scientists believe the Pi planet could be a promising candidate for observation with the James Webb Space Telescope. After all, exoplanets orbiting supercold dwarfs represent the best opportunity to study the atmosphere of terrestrial planets.