NASA Discovers ‘Exciting’ Earth-Sized Planet In Ongoing Search For Habitable Worlds


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has identified a potentially habitable Earth-sized world, according to a story shared Tuesday by the organization.

The planet, named TOI 700 e, is within range of its star’s habitable zone, an area defined by a range of distances where liquid water could exist on its surface, NASA stated in the story. The planet was described as “95% Earth’s size and likely rocky,” and orbits its local red dwarf star every 28 days.

The system is home to three additional planets, one of which — planet d — also orbits in the habitable zone, NASA continued. “This is one of only a few systems with multiple, small, habitable-zone planets that we know of,” said Emily Gilbert, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, according to NASA.

“That makes the TOI 700 system an exciting prospect for additional follow up. Planet e is about 10% smaller than planet d, so the system also shows how additional TESS observations help us find smaller and smaller worlds,” Gilbert added. The TESS satellite has discovered 66 new exoplanets (worlds outside of our solar system), and is working on confirming the existence of 2,100 other potential worlds, CBS News reported. (RELATED: NASA Is Finally Helping The Hunt For UFOs And Alien Life)

TOI 7oo e is located roughly 100 light years away in the Southern constellation Dorado, NASA noted, sharing a graphic of how the planets in the system move around their star. NASA believes the planets in the system are “probably” tidally locked, meaning they spin once per orbit similarly to Earth’s moon, the agency notes.