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NASA’s Webb telescope discovers extrasolar planets for the first time (Figure)

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NASA’s Webb telescope discovers extrasolar planets for the first time (Figure)

On January 11, 2023, NASA announced that the Webb telescope had discovered a planet outside the solar system for the first time, orbiting a small star about 100 light-years away from us. (NASA)

[Look at China News, January 13, 2023](See Chinese reporter Xiao Ran’s compilation/comprehensive report) On January 11,NASA)Announce,webb telescopefirst discovered asolar systemBesidesplanetwhich orbits a small star about 100 light-years away.

According to multiple media reports, this planet named TOI 700 e may be composed of rocks, and its size is 95% of the Earth. NASA says liquid water may exist on the planet.

“These first observations from Earth-sized rocky planets open the door to many future possibilities for studying the atmospheres of rocky planets with Webb, who brings us closer and closer to understanding the solar system,” said Clapin, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. new understanding of the extraterrestrial world, and the task has only just begun.”

This is the fourth planet discovered in the TOI 700 system, the others are named TOI 700 b, c and d. TOI 700 is a planet orbiting a star, but only has d and e orbits in the “habitable zone”.

The habitable zone is the region at just the right distance from a star where water can exist on a planet’s surface and where the environment is neither too hot nor too cold for life.

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“This is one of the only systems we know of that has multiple small habitable zone planets,” said Gilbert, a postdoctoral researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

The newly discovered Earth-sized planet E is 10 percent smaller than Planet D, said Gilbert, who led the work. TOI 700 e takes 28 days to orbit its star, while d takes 37 days.

All exoplanets were discovered by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). These satellites are designed to discover more planets and stars.

Over two years, TESS has enabled scientists to observe the solar system and monitor whether the brightness of stars dips periodically as planets pass by them. The mission was supposed to end in 2020, but TESS stretched out another year to discover the new planet.

“If the star had been a little closer or the planet a little bigger, we might have been able to spot TOI 700e in the first year of TESS data,” said Hodder, a researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “But the signal is so weak.” so much so that we needed an extra year of transit observations to identify it.”

So far, the satellite has imaged about 75 percent of the sky and discovered 66 new exoplanets, or worlds outside our solar system. It also notes that astronomers are working to confirm that 2,100 candidate planets are exoplanets.

The new discovery of planet e proves that satellites can help “we find smaller and smaller worlds,” Gilbert said.

Launched in 2018, the TESS mission monitors much of the night sky for 27 days at a time, peering at the brightest stars and tracking changes in brightness. These dips in luminosity indicate an orbiting planet passing in front of its star, known as a transit. The mission began observing the southern sky in 2018 before turning to the northern sky. In 2020, the mission again focused on making more observations in the southern sky, discovering a fourth planet in the TOI 700 system.

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More TESS data is pouring in as researchers make follow-up observations of this intriguing planetary system using other space and ground-based observatories.

“TESS just completed its second year of observations of the northern sky,” said Allison Youngblood, an astrophysicist and deputy project scientist for TESS, “and we look forward to other exciting discoveries hidden in the trove of mission data. ”


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