Discovered a potentially habitable planet


The "Super Earth" is among three new planets and six supernovae outside our solar system that have been observed by Nasa's planet-hunting Tess mission in its first three months. It was the first "hunters" for exoplanets.

The surface of the new planet is likely around 300 degrees Fahrenheit - relatively cool, given its proximity to its star, which is nearly as bright as the Sun. This is relatively cool considering its proximity to its star.

Huang reported the findings at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington. "But here we were lucky, and can now study this one in more detail".

HD 21749b is about 2.8 times Earth's size, which puts it in the category of a sub-Neptune. It's hard to tell whether the planet is rocky like Earth or a gas giant like Neptune.

"This planet has a greater density than Neptune, but it isn't rocky".

18 April 2018 has launched a new telescope created to search for rocky planets the size of Earth, TESS. The fact that TESS has spotted so many supernovae in such a short amount of time shows just how far space telescopes have come: according to Michael Fausnaugh, a scientist associated with TESS, "The only other mission that could really do this was the Kepler spacecraft and Kepler found five supernovae in four years of observation". That is fast by Earth standards, but the other two planets include Pi Mensae b with a 6.3-day orbit and LHS 3844b that orbits its star at a blistering pace of once every 11 hours.

This shifting focus makes it tough for TESS to find planets that lie far from their host stars and therefore take a long time to complete one orbit. The star is very similar to our sun, both in mass and in size.

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'In contrast, the new planet, called Pi Mensae c, has a circular orbit close to the star, and these orbital differences will prove key to understanding how this unusual system formed'. It has a rocky surface or gas-rich, similarly, while scientists cannot say.

By NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsNASA's planet hunting satellite, known as TESS, has unveiled a distant new world which consists of dense materials and gases.

During this initial survey, TESS also witnessed six supernova explosions, recorded before ground-based telescopes saw them.

Stay tuned for more news from TESS!

NASA's Kepler space telescope ran out of fuel in October a year ago. They determined that they should be able to find the signal again, in TESS's "sector 3" data - which they succeeded in doing. Every three months "Kepler" explored new areas of the sky. From this, they estimated that, if they indeed had seen a transit in the TESS data from sector 1, then another transit should appear 36 days later, in data from sector 3. This will enable scientists to survey almost the entire sky.

TESS is halfway through its first-year of observations. Such planets are relatively easier to study and can be analysed using different telescopes. Those planets could be the best candidates for supporting life outside our solar system. Astronomers have found that K2-288Bb rotates within the habitable zone of its star.