NASA's TESS Discovers A Nearby Super-Earth That Can Harbor Life

Share
NASA's TESS Discovers A Nearby Super-Earth That Can Harbor Life

TESS has been up roaming the skies for 12 months now and has discovered 21 planets and 850 potential exoplanets - planets outside of our solar system - in that time.

[Mirror] The search for life beyond our planet has just taken a massive leap, as NASA has discovered the "first nearby super-Earth.' Using its TESS satellite, NASA has discovered a planet about 31 light-years away from our planet, and its conditions mean that it could be habitable".

"This is exciting, as this is humanity's first nearby super-Earth that could harbour life -uncovered with help from TESS, our small, mighty mission with a huge reach", said Lisa Kaltenegger, associate professor of astronomy at Cornell University in the United States and a member of the TESS science team.

Astronomers from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands and the University of La Laguna, both in Spain, announced the discovery of the GJ 357 system July 31 in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics .

The newly-discovered planets orbit a star called GJ 357, classified as an M-type dwarf one-third the mass of our sun, and 40% cooler than our sun.

Researchers said that GJ 357 d has a thick atmosphere, so it could maintain liquid water on the surface like planet Earth could.

The reason why scientists are pretty excited about the discovery, is because they think it might have liquid water on it.

"I think it's an awesome discovery", Lisa Kaltenegger, from the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell, said.

At the moment scientists have found 4025 exoplanets, but only 45 of them are located relatively close to the Solar system.

"We describe GJ 357 b as a 'hot Earth, '" explained co-author Enric Pallé, an astrophysicist at the IAC and Luque's doctoral supervisor.

"If the planet has a dense atmosphere, which will take future studies to determine, it could trap enough heat to warm the planet and allow liquid water on its surface", said Diana Kossakowski of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany. The planet weighs at least 6.1 times Earth's mass, and orbits the star every 55.7 days at a range about 20 per cent of Earth's distance from the Sun.

TESS spotted the star dimming slightly every 3.9 days, suggesting planets were orbiting it.

Researchers also estimate GJ 357d could be roughly the same size as Earth or up to twice the size. That planet was GJ 357 b, a so-called "hot Earth" about 22% larger than Earth, according to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, which guides TESS.

"Although it can not host life, it is noteworthy as the third-nearest transiting exoplanet known to date and one of the best rocky planets we have for measuring the composition of any atmosphere it may possess".

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Manchester United reveal new club captain for 2019/20 season
The Norwegian told reporters : "David [de Gea]'s obviously in contention, Ash when he's on the pitch will carry the armband". With Bruno Fernandes destined for Spurs, the long shot is United making a late move for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen.

China Accused the USA of Violent Pro-Democracy Protests In Hong Kong
The arrests came on the eve of fresh anti-government demonstrations, this time by Hong Kong civil servants and medical workers. His arrest prompted about 100 protesters to surround a police station to demand his release, television footage showed.

Police respond to another mass shooting in US
There has been further tragedy in the U.S. where emergency services are responding to reports of a mass shooting in Ohio . A spokesperson for Miami Valley Hospital said 16 victims were being treated there, NBC News reported .

Dwayne Johnson Wears Tight T-Shirt Ahead of 'Hobbs & Shaw' Premiere
However, they are less than the previous film of the franchise as " Fast & Furious 7 " had collected Rs 12 crore plus in 2015. Idris Elba: "I get to play a big bad guy in one of the biggest franchises in the world".

India orders students, tourists out of Kashmir for security
However, tensions eased on Saturday, though Kashmiri politicians and the public were eager to know what is to come. Similarly, from Srinagar to Jammu, flight rates on Saturday were Rs 16,000.

Disciplinary Action Against Striking Doctors, Warns Health Ministry
The Bill will decrease the representation of elected members from 75 per cent in MCI to 20 per cent in NMC. The doctors have been boycotting work and demonstrating over certain provisions of the Bill since Thursday.

Train derails in Canada, causes evacuation
Part of the Trans-Canada Highway east of Medicine Hat, Alta., was ordered closed but was reopened in both directions Friday night. A Canadian Pacific Rail train on railroad tracks in Alberta.

Pro Football Hall of Fame induction tonight
Here are a list of National Football League stars to be added to the hall of fame, event schedule and ways to live stream it. The longtime Browns linebacker/defensive end has come close already.

‘Pure pleasure’: Frenchman successfully flies across English Channel on hoverboard
Mr Zapata failed in his first attempt last week to make the 22-mile crossing after he crashed into a refuelling boat 12 miles into the flight.

Moscow police detain over 800 in opposition crackdown
Alexei Navalny , a fierce Putin critic, has since claimed someone tried to poison him while he served 30 days behind bars. The OVD-Info organization, which tracks arrests in Russian Federation , said 828 people were detained Saturday.

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.