The new exoplanet TOI-6713.01 is glowing red-hot from volcanic eruptions. This is Jupiter's moon 'Io on steroids'

Citing a recent study published in The Astronomical Journal, the report said that researchers have found a new exoplanet TOI-6713.01, located about 66 light years away from Earth. This newly discovered exoplanet orbiting its parent star is an astronomical marvel and what sets this exoplanet apart is its similarity with Jupiter's moon, Io, which is known for its volcanic activity.

This rocky world, about 30 percent larger than our own planet, is characterized by its scorching surface temperatures. At about 4220 degrees Fahrenheit the temperature exceeds that of some stars.

Study author Stephen Kane of the University of California, Riverside, expressed surprise at the finding. He said, “It was one of those discovery moments where you think, 'Wow, it's amazing that this could actually exist.'

Comparing TOI-6713.01 to Jupiter's volcanic moon, Io, Kane described it as “Io on steroids” due to its frequent volcanic eruptions. Volcanic activity causes the planet's surface to appear bright and red-hot.

“It's been forced into a state where it's constantly erupting with volcanoes. At optical wavelengths you'll be able to see a bright, red-hot planet with a molten lava surface,” Kane said.

Data collected by TESS

The discovery of TOI-6713.01 was made possible through data collected by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). It studied the planet's host star HD 104067. While the star was previously known to host a giant planet and a rocky world, the study revealed the existence of another rocky planet in its orbit.

The researchers proposed that TOI-6713.01's volcanic activity may be driven by gravitational interactions with its parent body, similar to Io's relationship with Jupiter and its moons.

In particular, Jupiter's moon Io is volcanically active primarily due to tidal heating generated by interactions with Jupiter and its neighboring moons Europa and Ganymede.

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Io experiences tidal forces caused by the gravitational pull of Jupiter and its moons, which bend and deform its interior. This continued flexing generates immense heat in Io's interior, melting its rock and creating magma chambers.

This tidal heating effect, induced by gravitational forces, may explain the extreme volcanic behavior observed on the surface of this new planet.

(with inputs from agencies)


Heena Sharma

Heena Sharma is a digital journalist who mostly writes on current geopolitical developments. @HeenaSharma0819

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