Everything in the universe is made up of various elements, but the proportion of these elements in the universe is very uneven. Two elements, hydrogen, and helium occupy 73.9% and 24% of the mass of the observable universe, respectively, while among the other elements, oxygen occupies the largest proportion, with its mass occupying about 1% of the observable universe.
The chemical nature of oxygen is very active, they always tend to react with other elements, because hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, so the probability of chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen in the universe is the largest, and the product of the reaction of these two elements is water.
From this, it can be seen that water is universal in the universe, so it is normal for planets containing a lot of water to exist in the universe. On this basis, reasonable speculation is that if a water-rich planet happens to be located in the habitable zone of its host star, then the surface of this planet could be completely covered by an ocean of liquid water, and we can call it an "ocean planet".
According to our knowledge of life, life may not need oxygen, but liquid water is essential for life, so we have reason to believe that life may exist on an ocean planet.
Interestingly, ocean planets may not be too far away from us. According to a new study recently published in the Astrophysical Journal, astronomers have discovered a new super-Earth using observational equipment such as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the Garfaxia Telescope (CFHT), and researchers Researchers speculate that the planet is about 30 percent water, and is probably an ocean planet.
The planet, named "TOI-1452 b", is located in the sky in the direction of the constellation Cepheus, only 100 light-years away from us, which is a very close distance on the macroscopic scale of the universe.
The main star of "TOI-1452 b" is a red dwarf named "TOI-1452", which forms a binary star with another red dwarf named "TIC 420112587". The average distance between these two stars is about 97 astronomical units, and they orbit each other about once every 1400 years.
TOI-1452 b is called a super-Earth because it is a rocky planet with a larger mass and volume than the Earth, with observations showing that it is about 4.8 times the mass and 1.7 times the radius of the Earth.
For a super-Earth of the size of "TOI-1452 b", if the composition of its material is similar to that of the Earth, it should be significantly denser than the Earth, because the larger a planet is, the stronger its gravity will be, which will "compress" its material This "compresses" its matter more tightly.
However, the researchers found that the density of "TOI-1452 b" is only about 5.6 g/cm3, which is much lower than expected because the average density of the Earth is about 5.5 g/cm3, which means that it is very close to the Earth's density.
According to the researchers, "TOI-1452 b" is composed of a significant portion of its mass, which is lighter than the material that makes up the Earth. It is highly likely that this "lighter matter" is water. According to the researchers' calculations, if this is the case, then water would take up about 30% of its total mass.
In contrast, the water on our planet is not even 1% of the total mass of the Earth, so we can fully imagine how amazing the water content of this super-Earth is.
What's more, "TOI-1452 b" is located in the habitable zone of its host star, which means that the surface temperature of the planet is neither too cold nor too hot to allow water to exist in liquid form for a long time.
Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that a large part of the water of TOI-1452 b is liquid water, which is present in large quantities on the surface of this super-Earth.
It is for this reason that researchers are optimistic that among the many known exoplanets, TOI-1452 b is the "best candidate" for an ocean planet, which means that there could be life there.
Of course, this is only a preliminary hypothesis, and the team's researchers say they are actively applying to use the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to observe the newly discovered super-Earth to test this hypothesis.
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