This new super Earth is 70% bigger than our planet, but it's also more than 50 times hotter

This new super Earth is 70% bigger than our planet, but it's also more than 50 times hotter
Representative image of a super EarthNASA
  • An international team of scientists has discovered a new ‘Super Earth’ around 122 light-years away.
  • This planet outside our solar system is 70% bigger than Earth with days that only last 16 hours.
  • It’s also a whole lot hotter than Earth, burning at 1069 Kelvin, which is round 800 degrees Celsius.
A team of international scientists have found a new, possibly habitable, planet outside the known solar system dubbed TOI-1685b. Located over 122 light-years away, this new planet has been given the status of a ‘super Earth’.

It is 70% more massive than our home planet and one day on the planet only lasts 16 hours — that’s only two-thirds of a day on Earth.

The catch, however, is that this particular candidate for habitable life is one of the hottest Earth-size exoplanets discovered so far. It has a surface temperature of 1069 Kelvin, which comes in just under 800 degrees Celsius. The Earth’s average surface temperature, as of 2017, was around 14.9 degrees Celsius.

"We present the discovery of the ultra-short-period planet TOI-1685b, which orbits its host star with a period of 0.669 days. To confirm the planetary nature of the TESS transiting candidate we obtained high resolution spectra using the CARMENES spectrograph," the astronomers wrote in the paper published on

TOI-1658b will now be slotted with the other discoveries of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) tool is conducting a survey of around 200,000 of the biggest stars around the Sun to Earth-like planets.


This new super Earth is 70% bigger than our planet, but it's also more than 50 times hotter
Artistic impression of the surface of the newly discovered hot super-Earth Gliese 486b, which has a temperature of about 700 Kelvin (430 °C). The astronomers of the CARMENES collaboration expect a Venus-like hot and dry landscape interspersed with glowing lava rivers. Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

So far, it has identified around 2,500 candidate exoplanets, of which 113 have been confirmed. This year, TESS has already made two other discoveries — one of the nearby Super Earth and three new worlds in a ‘river’ of young stars.

The conundrum of the red dwarf star
In order for a planet to be habitable, it must have a star — just like the Earth has the Sun. TOI-1685b’s home star is an M dwarf, also called a ‘red dwarf’ star.

These are some of the most common stars around. They’re also considered to be one of the best candidates for a habitable planet since they’re smaller and less luminous than Earth’s Sun.

However, critics believe that while red dwarf planets are easy to find, they may be difficult for fostering actual life.

Due to their small size and weaker gravity, M dwarfs can take longer to form than much larger stars. Meanwhile, the planets trying to take birth around the star would be subject to the heavy light and heat for the formative years — possibility cooking off most of the planet’s life-giving water before the star even forms.

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