Not so long ago, astronomers could only dream of the technical power to peer into the universe and discover new planets,media reported. Today, the discovery of exoplanets has become so rapid that a small hardware device called ASTERIA has discovered a distant world in its orbit around Earth.
From a satellite point of view, ASTERIA is very small. According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, it is only the size of a briefcase, but that doesn’t stop it from making breakthrough discoveries. The planet it found was an ultra-hot planet called 55 Cancri e.
Cancri e is considered a “super-Earth” because it is a rocky planet like ours, but it is much larger than Earth. It is estimated to be about twice the size of the earth and eight times the mass of the Earth. In addition, the planet is very close lying to its star, and 55 Cancri e has passed in less than one Earth day in less than a year.
The planet was first discovered in 2004. Although ASTERIA is not the first to discover it, the fact that it has managed to discover 55 Cancri e is amazing. Like other missions to find exoplanets, the satellite will observe subtle changes in the brightness of the host star in order to discover planets traveling between the sun and Earth. ASTERIA has done this by reducing it to the size of a briefcase, which is clearly a significant achievement.
“The detection of this exoplanet is exciting because it shows how these new technologies can be combined in practical applications,” Vanessa Bailey of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement. In fact, ASTERIA has been on its main mission for more than 20 months, giving us valuable extra time for scientific research, and it highlights the great projects of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “
It is understood that the ASTERIA project itself is unique because it is part of a new project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
ASTERIA was developed under the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Phaeton project, which provides flight challenges to early professionals under the guidance of experienced mentors. ASTERIA is a collaboration (result) between (lab) and MIT in Cambridge; Brice Demory of the University of Bern also contributed to the new study.