Super-Earth – a planet that is about 30 to 70% bigger than our planet – has recently been spotted by a NASA telescope orbiting Earth.
Researchers published the planet’s detection in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. However, since we are many light years away we can only see this distant world as a dark dot when it periodically passes in front of its red dwarf star.
And, crucially, this world orbits inside the habitable, or “‘Goldilocks,” zone, as per scientists.
Astronomers are concentrating their search for habitable planets on rocky worlds orbiting cooler red dwarfs, which often have shorter orbital periods, some as brief as 19 days. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is well-suited for detecting the transits of these planets.
Currently, these rocky planets around red dwarfs represent the best chance for discovering habitable conditions. The next step involves a detailed examination of TOI-715 b using the powerful James Webb Space Telescope, positioned approximately 1 million miles from Earth, capable of providing insights into the atmospheres of distant exoplanets.
“They are indeed very exciting planets,” Renyu Hu, an exoplanet researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told Mashable in 2022.
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Published: 10 Feb 2024, 12:29 PM IST