NASA discovers new exoplanet 3 times the size of Earth

Weird'Sub-Neptune Exoplanet Discovered by NASA Space Telescope

Weird'Sub-Neptune Exoplanet Discovered by NASA Space Telescope

The latest exoplanet on the list is HD 21749b, which orbits a star that's about 80 percent as massive as our sun, located about 53 light-years away in the southern constellation Reticulum. What NASA's algorithms didn't see was one small planet nearly twice our planet's size.

The planet has an orbit of 36 days and a surface temperature of about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. NASA 2019 New Year Calendar Will Feature a Painting of 12-Year-Old Boy From Tamil Nadu, View Pic. Few planets that orbit close to their stars are more than 1.5 times as large as Earth, yet K2-288Bb is estimated to be roughly 1.9 times the size of our planet. The size of the new world is also a rarity: 1.9 times the Earth's size and half of Neptune's. Based on the data of the planet, scientists found that the planet has a gaseous nature, with a thick and warmer atmosphere compared to the Neptune and Uranus from our solar system.

"We learned from Kepler that there are more planets than stars in our sky, and now TESS will open our eyes to the variety of planets around some of the closest stars", Paul Hertz, the director of NASA's astrophysics division, said in March 2018. This means that on its surface could be liquid water.

A second exoplanet may also be in the same star system, but we'll have to wait for follow-up observations to confirm it.

The researchers announced the find today at the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.

TESS sectioned the night sky into 26 segments - each to be surveyed meticulously over two years.

The paper will be published in The Astronomical Journal. Specifically, the research team looked for evidence of periodic changes in the stars' brightness, which would suggest that an exoplanet passed in front of one of the stars - an event astronomers call a transit.

"We've confirmed three planets so far, and there are so many more that are just waiting for telescope and people time to be confirmed", Dragomir said. Scientists, however, require a third transit-the dimming of a star when an orbiting planet moves across its face-before claiming the discovery of a candidate planet.

The "super Earth" completes a full cycle every 313.3 days. "TESS found as many in its first month". The telescope has been in orbit 10 years, although was designed for three years. But that won't be the only thing TESS will see as it stares into the same parts of the sky for months at a time.

Ricker said TESS is operating so well that the spacecraft's lifetime could be extended well beyond its two-year primary mission to overlap with the missions of those future spacecraft - perhaps for several decades.

Tess will aim for a unique elongated orbit that passes within 45,000 miles of Earth on one end and as far away as the orbit of the moon on the other end. The mission has already flagged several hundred planet candidates, and its confirmed finds will run into the thousands when all is said and done, NASA officials have said.

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