Scientists may have discovered a planet similar to Earth. Let someone tell you about it.

There is more important work for James Webb Space Telescope. A team of astronomers at the University of Montreal hopes to use it to study Newly found planet outside our solar system (an extrasolar planet) can be covered almost completely with water.

Astronomers think so TOI-1452b, larger in size and mass than Earth, could be an “ocean planet” covered in a thicker layer of water, much more so than Earth. This is because even though about 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by the ocean, Water actually makes up less than 1% of its mass.

On this newly discovered planet, water may make up 20-30% of its mass.

TOI-1452 b appears to have a temperate climate due to its orbital distance from the star, but don’t get your spacesuit ready yet. We probably won’t be moving there anytime soon. Although astronomers say it is close, its proximity to them is still about 100 light-years from Earth.

An artistic representation of the surface of TOI-1452 b, which could be a “water world” planet.

Carly Pearson, editorial board member of USA TODAY, spoke with Ph.D. Student Charles Kedio, who led the team in their discovery of this potential new “water world”. Their discussion has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Tell me about your discovery.

In the search for life, we are always interested in temperate planets. We announced the discovery of a new exoplanet that differs from the other planets in our solar system. We have gaseous planets like Jupiter and rocky planets like Earth. We know that there is a new type of planet between the rocky and the gaseous: this new exoplanet is one of them.

Jupiter as you’ve never seen it before: How the James Webb Telescope helps us get a clearer picture of Jupiter – and our universe

Technical rendition of an exoplanet TOI-1452 b.

Technical rendition of an exoplanet TOI-1452 b.

Do you think humanity can finally survive on TOI-1452b?

We don’t have the ability to travel to other stars, not in the short term. We have one world, one planet.

We don’t know the temperature there but it’s neither too hot nor too cold. There are many doubts about the composition of the atmosphere. This is the next step. So even if we say that the temperature is 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit), there is a possibility that the surface temperature is much higher due to the greenhouse effect. But this is something we don’t know because we don’t know the property of the atmosphere. If you were on this planet, the entire surface would be water.

We want to understand the origins of life: is there life beyond Earth? just us build catalog Of these interesting planets. Perhaps in the future we will find life.

This could be a complete revolution. We have the opportunity to be the first generation of humans to find out if we are alone in the universe, to find signs associated with life.

Do you think there is intelligent life out there?

Nobody knows the answer. It’s easy to say “yes” because it’s less intimidating.

Life can be out but remain as microbes, never evolving into something intelligent. If we run the numbers: in our galaxy there are estimates of about 300 billion stars. then there Hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe.

There are a lot of variables, but when you look at the numbers it makes sense that we’re not alone. But then again, there is probably only one planet that has life.

How many planets like this have the researchers found?

It is very unique. We only know about Five ocean planets. Twenty-five years ago, we didn’t know of any exoplanets. Now we know more than 5000.

Charles Kedio is a Ph.D.  The student who led the University of Montreal team in its discovery of TOI-1452 b.

Charles Kedio is a Ph.D. The student who led the University of Montreal team in its discovery of TOI-1452 b.

We think that the entire planet (from TOI-1452) may be covered in water everywhere. The most likely that (this exoplanet) is made up of 20-30% water, and the rest will be rocks and minerals just like Earth.

But it’s a really different kind of planet, not just because it has water because, for a molecule, water is very common. Even in our solar system, there are moons with a lot of water like (planet) Jupiter and Saturn.

What do you want ordinary people to know about your business and this discovery in particular?

It is important to show how special our planet is and how we must protect it. We don’t have anywhere else to live.

More from Carly Pearson:

“Fairytale Science”: Instead of Reviving Extinct Species, Stop Killing Them

“There is no place called safe.” The father in Gaza fears what will happen to his daughter.

Biden student loan forgiveness is a good start, but it falls short for borrowers like me

Carly Pearson, New York licensed attorney, opinion writer with USA TODAY, and USA TODAY member editorial board. Follow her on Twitter: Tweet embed

You can read various reviews from our site Board of Shareholders And other writers on first review pageon Twitter Tweet embed And in our area Daily Newsletter. To respond to a column, send a comment to letter@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: This potential new “ocean planet” really got astronomers intrigued.