Astronomers discover an exoplanet with the density of a marshmallow

Using ground-based telescopes to gather more data about an exoplanet discovered by the orbiting TESS telescope, astronomers have found that it has the density of a marshmallow.

The planet orbits a red dwarf star, the most common star in the universe, and is the “fluffiest” yet seen around this type of star.

Red dwarf stars are the smallest and dimmest members of so-called main-sequence stars — stars that convert hydrogen into helium in their cores at a steady rate. Though “cool” compared to stars like our Sun, red dwarf stars can be extremely active and erupt with powerful flares capable of stripping a planet of its atmosphere, making this star system a seemingly inhospitable location to form such a gossamer planet.

Astronomers remain puzzled how such a large fluffy planet could have formed around such a dim small star.