NASA’s “planet hunter” TesS has made a new discovery. AT THE 235TH MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY IN HONOLULU ON JANUARY 7, NASA ANNOUNCED ITS PLANETARY SEARCH MISSION, TESS, THE FIRST EXOPLANET THAT MIGHT BE HABITABLE, CNN REPORTED ON JANUARY 7.
TOI 700d simulation image Source: NASA
The planet, called TOI 700d, orbits a star (TOI 700) 100 light-years from Earth. The star is only 40 percent of the sun’s mass and half the surface temperature.
Planet TOI 700d is one of three planets orbiting the star, and it is just as far away as it can support the presence of liquid water in the star’s habitable zone. It is the outermost of the three planets, orbiting stars every 37 Earth days.
TOI 700d receives about 86% of the energy that Earth receives from the sun. Astronomers believe that the planet is a “tidal lock”, which means that one side of it is always during the day.
Astronomers confirmed their findings using infrared tracking capabilities from NASA’s space telescope and simulated the planet’s potential environment to further study its habitability.
The other two planets in the star system are TOI 700b and TOI 700c. The innermost planet b, the size of Earth, is made of rocks and rotates around the star every 10 Earth days.
The second planet, c, is thought to be gaseous, between Earth and Neptune, and rotates every 16 Earth days for a week.
Another breakthrough for Tess was the first discovery of a planet orbiting two stars, TOI 1338b, which was discovered 1,300 light-years away.
TOI 1338b, which is between Neptune and Saturn, is the only planet ever found with two stars, one of which is 10 percent larger than the sun and the other smaller and colder.
TOI 1338b Picture: NASA