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Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: NASA

 Context:  Astronomers at the University of Liège in Belgium discovered an Earth-sized exoplanet, SPECULOOS-3 b, orbiting an ultra-cool red dwarf, 55 light-years away.


  • Exoplanets: Planets beyond our solar system, either orbiting other stars or free-floating.
  • Red dwarfs are the smallest main sequence stars, much smaller than the Sun

The star, roughly the size of Jupiter and twice as cold as the Sun, bombards the planet with intense radiation, likely stripping away any atmosphere, and making it uninhabitable.  The SPECULOOS project, aimed at studying ultra-cool dwarf stars, previously discovered the TRAPPIST-1 system. The newly found exoplanet orbits its star every 17 hours and is tidally locked, with perpetual day and night sides.