Pat Brennan, NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program, wrote on the organisations website the planet is “ripe for study”.
He cooled expectations of humans living on the planet, but said: “Though not habitable due to its size, the planet could offer scientists one of their first chances to capture a “bar-code” type reading of the atmosphere of a temperate, Neptune-sized exoplanet – a planet orbiting another star.
“This will allow comparisons with similar worlds elsewhere in the galaxy, bringing potentially deep insights into the composition and formation of exoplanets and planetary systems, including our own.
“The planet’s red-dwarf star, though small, is quite bright in the infrared part of the light spectrum, or light beyond the red end of the spectrum that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
“It is, however, ideal for investigation by (the Hubble Space Telescope) and (the James Webb Space Telescope).”