TESS Finds a New Planet Orbiting a Shiny Dwarf Star

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According to an expert at the Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, this planet is so far the coolest little planet that is found orbiting around such a bright star. She says that we have been aware of all the hot and big planets in the atmosphere but because of the scarcity of enough research in space, the smaller planets haven’t got the real spotlight yet. But she thinks we are fortunate enough that we find this little planet and we hope we will explore more.

One of the NASA’s satellites, TESS, has found a third small planet in the outer solar system. Among all the three planets identified by TESS so far, this planet has the longest orbital periods. It orbits around the dwarf and bright star that was 53 light years away. This planet was named as HD 21749b. According to the observation, all the three planets were discovered in the first three months of 2018.

TESS planets orbiting an M dwarf star
Image Credit: NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center

Its surface is about 300 F, which is relatively cooler than the other two planets. This planet is referred to as sub-Neptune since it is three times the size and 23X massive than earth. The planet has a rocky surface and it’s primarily made of dense gases as Neptune and Uranus.

The researchers have also identified the presence of another planet orbiting in the same planetary system. This planet is the size of the earth.

This mission will be of two years in which TESS would be aiming the entire sky at night. The satellite would be surveying the Southern Hemisphere in the first year while the other Northern Hemisphere in the other year. The TESS has released all the collected data so far to the public.

But the satellite could only collect data for 27 days and it’s very difficult to survey the planets having longer orbits.

The experts have confirmed that despite these three planets, there are many more planets yet which needs enough research to unveil them. They employed advanced equipment including Planet Finder spectrograph, Magellan telescope and many others to validate their data.

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