NASA has discovered an exoplanet three times larger than Earth

Tess Telescope Discovery

In April last year, NASA officially launched the TESS telescope, which with its more advanced equipment has replaced Kepler as an extrasolar planet finder, better known as exoplanets. Tess has already begun to bear fruit.

Indeed, the new telescope has discovered an exoplanet known as HD 21749 b, located at a distance of 53 light years from Earth. This newly discovered planet revolves around a star of the same name located in the constellation of Reticulum.

This exoplanet is three times larger than Earth and most likely is a gaseous world, perhaps with a solid core, according to NASA in a statement. The finding was unveiled in Seattle during the meeting of the United States Astronomical Society.

Tess is a new space telescope designed to discover and image exoplanets located less than 300 light-years away from Earth. While it will not revolutionize the discipline per se, it will nonetheless detect a very wide variety of planets. it should namely discover dozens of planets the size of the Earth. Video Credit: NASA Goddard.

Diana Dragomir, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), explained that, according to the calculations, the temperature in the surface of the planet is of approximately 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The team of researchers behind the discovery also detected signals of what could be a second planet in that system with a much smaller orbit, and that it could be the first planet of a similar size to Earth discovered by TESS.

For now, TESS will continue to investigate stars less than 300 light-years from Earth to search for more planets based on data from Kepler, which has discovered nearly 3,000 planets in its nine years in orbit.

Tess has already located some 200 candidates, of which only three have been confirmed.

Read More: The Kepler mission has ended

Andrei Santov

Andrei, a sociologist by profession, born in Russia but currently located in UK, covers mostly European and Russia-related news for The Talking Democrat.