NASA telescope sights Earth-sized exoplanet

NASA's TESS spacecraft has found its first Earth-sized planet named HD21749c outside our solar system.

    2019/04/23

NSFW    WASHINGTON D.C. — NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, has located its first Earth-sized exoplanet outside the solar system, according to the U.S. space agency.

The planet is called HD 21749c and it orbits the star HD 21749, according to a NASA news release. This celestial body is located 52 light years from Earth.

The exoplanet circles the star every 7.8 days, according to an MIT news release. This means the exoplanet could have surface temperatures of up to 427 degrees Celsius due to its proximity to the star.

According to MIT, a second planet called HD21749b also orbits the star. It has a longer orbit of 36 days. Researchers described it as a warm "sub-neptune."

The exoplanet's diameter is around 89% the size of Earth's. It is likely to be rocky and uninhabitable, according to MIT researchers.

NASA's TESS has been searching for new planets outside the solar system since it launched in April 2018.

For now, the satellite has identified 10 planets and aims to identify a total of 50 before the end of its mission next year, according to MIT.
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