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NASA TESS Discovers Possibly Habitable Super Earth

NASA TESS Discovers Possibly Habitable Super Earth: Scientists have made a great discovery and recommended the first possibly fit to live in world outside our own solar system which is located about 31 light-years away. This super-Earth planet is now have been named GJ 357 d. It was discovered in early 2019 due to NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which was a mission designed to search and examine the heavens for exoplanets, as per to the research published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Lisa Kaltenegger, who is associate professor of astronomy at Cornell University in the US as well as a member of the TESS science team said,  “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,”

The exoplanet is more enormous than our own blue planet, as well as Kaltenegger said that this discovery is going to provide insight into heavyweight planetary cousins of the planet Earth.

She further added, “With a thick atmosphere, the planet GJ 357 d could maintain liquid water on its surface like Earth, and we could pick out signs of life with telescopes that will soon be online,”

In the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, both, Astronomers from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands as well as the University of La Laguna, Spain, announced the discovery of the GJ 357 system.

They also showed that the distant solar system, about one-third the size of our own sun, houses three planets, with one of those in that system’s habitable zone: GJ 357 d.

The TESS satellite last February observed that the dwarf sun GJ 357 turn down to some extent every 3.9 days, which showed the evidence of a transiting planet moving across the star’s face.

As per to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, which guides TESS, stated that planet was GJ 357 b, a so-called “hot Earth” is around 22 per cent larger than our planet Earth.

The star is “about one-third the sun’s mass and size and about 40 percent cooler than our star,” NASA said.

Francis Reddy of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, which oversees TESS as a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission wrote, “The planet weighs at least 6.1 times Earth’s mass, and orbits the star every 55.7 days at a range about 20% of Earth’s distance from the sun. The planet’s size and composition are unknown, but a rocky world with this mass would range from about one to two times Earth’s size,”

NASA further added, the TESS cameras “caught the star dimming slightly every 3.9 days, revealing the presence of a transiting exoplanet — a world beyond our solar system — that passes across the face of its star during every orbit and briefly dims the star’s light”.