NASA’s planet hunter finds two rocky super-Earths orbiting a dwarf star


Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 16-06-2022 20:59 IST | Created: 16-06-2022 11:55 IST
NASA’s planet hunter finds two rocky super-Earths orbiting a dwarf star
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

An international team of astronomers, using NASA's planet hunter TESS, have discovered two rocky super-Earths - terrestrial worlds like our home planet, only bigger - orbiting a relatively bright, red dwarf just 33 light-years away.

The team led by Rafael Luque of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, Spain, and also of the University of Chicago, used data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to make this discovery. They also used data from ground-based telescopes to confirm the existence of the two new planets.

The newly discovered rocky worlds - named HD 260655 b and HD 260655 c - could be ideal for follow-up atmospheric observations, the reserachers said. Planet b is about 1.2 times as big around as Earth and its temperature is estimated at 816 degrees Fahrenheit (435 Celsius) while planet c is 1.5 times, with estimated temperature of 543 Fahrenheit (284 Celsius).

According to the team, the new planets are among the closest-known rocky planets yet found outside our solar system that astronomers can observe crossing the faces of their stars.

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