NASA discovers a new exoplanet – there might be liquid water out there
NASA has already discovered the second Earth-like planet, the so-called exoplanet, in a solar system 100 light-years away. Liquid water may also be present there.
100 light-years separate us from the solar system in which TOI 700 e is located – an almost unimaginable distance. NASA recently discovered this exoplanet: it is similar in size to Earth and orbits the star TOI 700. TOI 700 belongs to red dwarf stars, like about three-quarters of all stars, and is located in the southern constellation Swordfish.
TOI 700 e is in the habitable zone, which means liquid water may be present there. This is what makes an exoplanet so interesting to scientists, because if it does indeed find water on the planet’s surface, life forms – in any way – similar to ours on Earth would be theoretically possible, too. Otherwise, the surface may be rocky, NASA said in a blog post.
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NASA has already discovered the fourth planet
In 2020, three more planets were discovered in the solar system with the help of the Tess space telescope: TOI 700 b, c and d. TOI 700 d is also an Earth-like planet orbiting in the solar system’s habitable zone. It is ten percent larger than the newly discovered planet. “This is one of the few solar systems known to us to have many minor planets in the habitable zone,” NASA study lead Emily Gilbert said of the latest discovery.
The researchers hypothesize that all four planets discovered are gravitationally bound. This means that they always turn the same side to their star. The innermost planet, TOI 700 b, has an orbital period of 10 days, at TOI 700 c it has 16 days. The now discovered exoplanet TOI 700 e orbits the star once in 28 days, TOI 700d needs 37 days according to NASA. The star will continue to be observed: “We look forward to other exciting discoveries hidden in this mission’s data treasure chest,” said NASA astrophysicist Alison Youngblood.
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