Earth-Sized Mystery: New Planet Found Orbiting Faint Star .

 In May 2024, astronomers discovered an Earth-sized planet, SPECULOOS-3 b, orbiting a faint, ultra-cool dwarf star called SPECULOOS-3, just 55 light-years from Earth. This is one of the closest exoplanets ever found that is similar in size to our planet.


  • A very cool star, only about twice as hot as the surface of Venus, with a temperature of around 4,760 degrees Fahrenheit (2,627 degrees Celsius).
  • Many times dimmer than our Sun, about one-thousandth as luminous.
  • Ten times less massive and a hundred times less luminous than our Sun.
  • Likely a red dwarf star, a type of star much cooler and smaller than our Sun.

The Planet: SPECULOOS-3 b

  • Roughly the same size as Earth.
  • Orbits its star much closer than Mercury orbits our Sun, completing an orbit in just 17 hours. This means a year on SPECULOOS-3 b is shorter than a single day on Earth.
  • Because of its extremely close orbit, the planet is likely tidally locked, meaning one side always faces the star and the other side is in perpetual darkness. The dayside would be scorching hot, while the nightside would be incredibly cold.
  • Due to the intense radiation from its star, the planet likely has no atmosphere.


SPECULOOS-3 b is not considered habitable due to the intense radiation from its star and the likely lack of an atmosphere. However, the discovery of this planet is still significant because it shows that Earth-sized planets can exist around ultracool dwarf stars. These stars are very common in the galaxy, so the finding increases the chances of finding habitable planets around them in the future.

Here's a breakdown of the key points:

  • The Star: SPECULOOS-3 b orbits an ultra-cool dwarf star, a star much smaller and cooler than our Sun. This star is only about the size of Jupiter and thousands of degrees cooler.
  • The Orbit: SPECULOOS-3 b zips around its star incredibly fast, completing a full orbit in just 17 hours. This means a year on SPECULOOS-3 b is shorter than a single day on Earth!
  • Tidally Locked: Due to its close proximity to its star, SPECULOOS-3 b is likely tidally locked. This means one side of the planet constantly faces the star, while the other side is in perpetual darkness.
  • Unlikely Habitable: The intense radiation from the star and the lack of a day-night cycle make it highly unlikely that SPECULOOS-3 b has an atmosphere or could support life as we understand it.

Further Exploration:

If you'd like to learn more about this discovery, you can find the full article by searching for "Discovery Alert: An Earth-sized World and Its Ultra-cool Star" or "SPECULOOS-3 b" on NASA (.gov) or [invalid URL removed]. These sources will provide a more in-depth look at this intriguing exoplanet and the ongoing search for habitable worlds.

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