Posts

Showing posts from April, 2019

NASA's TESS mission spots Earth-size exoplanet

Image
NASA's planet-hunting TESS mission has found its first Earth-size exoplanet in a star system only 53 light-years from Earth. Another exoplanet, a warm mini-Neptune, was found in the same system.

"It's so exciting that TESS, which launched just about a year ago, is already a game-changer in the planet-hunting business," Johanna Teske, author of a study describing the planets and Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science, said in a statement. "The spacecraft surveys the sky and we collaborate with the TESS follow-up community to flag potentially interesting targets for additional observations using ground-based telescopes and instruments."

The Earth-size planet, dubbed HD 21749c, completes an orbit of its host star every eight days. Its planetary sibling, HD 21749b, is about 23 times Earth's mass and has a radius about 2.7 times that of Earth. This puts the exoplanet in the category of a sub-Neptune or mini-Neptune.

The study was…