The TESS satellite found the first exoplanet, which resembles Earth in size

One year after the start of its mission, the TESS satellite (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) has discovered more planets in a nearby planetary system, 53 light years away from us. One sub-Neptune and one exoplanet similar in size to the Earth.

Let's start with the sub-Neptune. The new HD 21749b planet is in a bright dwarf system just 53 light years away in the constellation of the Network. This planet has the longest circulation period of all three, discovered so far by TESS, which is 36 days. The other two discoveries, namely Pi Mensae b and LHS 3844b, circle their stars in 6.3 days and in 11 hours respectively.

On HD 21749b is a bit too hot

The average temperature that prevails on its surface is about 150 degrees C. A bit too hot, but if we take into account the fact that HD 21749b is close enough to its star, which brightness matches the sun, these 150 degrees C. is quite ... low temperature. At least that's what Diana Dragomir of the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research thinks of researching the newly discovered planet.

- HD 21749b is the coolest small planet orbiting around such a bright star that we have been able to discover so far. Information on it will allow us to investigate it more closely. This is extremely important, because so far we do not know too much about smaller and cooler planets. We have what to study - says Dragomir.

As for the size of HD 21749b, it is about 3 times larger than the Earth, which is why it went to the so-called category. sub-Neptunes. Its mass is 23 times greater than the mass of our planet. Dr. Dragomir's team believes it is unlikely that it would be a rocky planet. A much more likely scenario is rather that HD 21749b is a gas planet with a much denser atmosphere than Neptune or Uranium.

- HD 21749b is characterized by the density of water or very dense atmosphere - explains Dragomir.

On HD21749c it's a little bit better -earth-sized exoplanet% 2F

The second, discovered in the same system, the planet looks much more like Earth. For example, the size that is very close to the size of our planet. It is true that its circulation around the star takes only 7.8 days, which means quite close orbit and - as a result - even higher temperature on the surface than in the case of its neighbor. The data sent by TESS shows that the average temperature on HD21749c is about 420 degrees C.

Of course, these conditions make the HD21749c exoplanet unsuitable for future colonization. However, this state of affairs does not disturb the researchers. Two discoveries in the HD21749 system show that TESS works perfectly and deals with finding smaller planets, which can be extremely important when it comes to expanding our knowledge about space.

TESS will allow us to study exoplanets more accurately

The equipment of the new satellite will allow astronomers to accurately measure the mass, atmosphere composition and other properties of smaller exoplanets. TESS is supported by observations from terrestrial telescopes and other instruments used to observe the sky.

The big role in the HD21749C study was played by, for example, the 6.5-meter Magellan II telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, which is additionally equipped with the Carnegie Planet Finder Spectrograph spectrograph. PFS uses the so-called Radial velocity method, which allows for a fairly accurate determination of the mass of the examined planet, thanks to which we can get to know the density of the studied planet and start analyzing its chemical composition.

Initial findings by TESS prove that the satellite is a worthy successor to the space telescope Kepler, who before ended its mission at the end of 2018. Discovered approx. 2.7 thousand. exoplanets. The amount of data sent by him to Earth is so huge that it has not been fully analyzed yet. Let's hope that the discoveries made by Kepler and TESS will be useful in the future for creating star maps that will be used by human colonizers.

The TESS satellite found the first exoplanet, which resembles Earth in size


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