NASA finds Earth-sized world in Goldilocks zone

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Highlights

  • Nasa stated that its planet hunter satellite TESS had discovered a world of the size of the Earth.
  • The Earth has been found within the habitable range of its star, which allows the presence to the Earth.

NASA said that its planet hunter satellite TESS had discovered an Earth-sized world within the habitable range of its star, that could allow the presence of liquid water.

The planet called TOI 700d is comparatively closer to Earth- only 100 light-years away, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced during the annual American Astronomical Society meeting conducted in Honolulu, Hawaii.

TESS had misclassified the star, which meant the planets were seen larger and hotter than they actually are. But several astronomers, who work with TESS rectified the error.

NASA used Spitzer Space Telescope

The discovery was later confirmed by Spitzer Space Telescope. A few other planets have been discovered before, one of them being Kepler Space Telescope. But this is the first-ever planet discovered by TESS, which was launched in 2018.

TESS stabilizes on the area of the sky to detect whether objects- planets-pass in front of stars, which causes a temporary decrement in the stars’ luminous nature. This allows TESS to infer the presence of the planet, and the size of the orbit.

Star TOI 700 is approximately 40 per cent of Sun’s size and only half as hot as the ball of fire.

TESS’s ROLE in operation

TESS found the three planets in orbit, named TOI 700 b, c and d. Only “d” is in the habitable zone, neither far nor close to the star, where the temperature could allow the presence of water.

It is about 20 per cent larger than the Earth and orbits its star in 37 days. “d” receives 86 per cent of the energy that Earth gets from Sun.

NASA had explained that the planet is covered in oceans with a dense, carbon-dioxide-dominated atmosphere to what scientists suspect surround Mars when it was in its initial stage.

The planet is tidally linked to the star, which means that one side always is in front of the star, similar to Moon and Earth.

This synchronous rotation shows that one side was completely covered in the clouds.

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