The SPECULOOS (Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars) Project, aimed at detecting transiting terrestrial planets around ultracool dwarfs, began its scientific operations three years ago. SPECULOOS aims to provide first-class planets for atmospheric characterisation in the age of JWST. This survey also provides the unique possibility to study these mysterious red dwarfs and their planetary populations in detail. We will present an update on the current status of the survey and an overview of recent results. Finally, we will announce the exciting new discovery of a super-Earth transiting in the habitable zone of a quiet and nearby ultracool dwarf. This ultracool dwarf, hereafter referred to as SPECULOOS-2, is the second-coolest star known to host planets after TRAPPIST-1 and so represents a rare opportunity to study temperate terrestrial planets around our smallest and coolest neighbours. We also find that this planet is the most favorable habitable-zone terrestrial planet for atmospheric characterisation found so far outside of the TRAPPIST-1 system.
Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- June 2022