NASA's planet finder discovers weird new world and 6 six exploding stars

09 January, 2019, 18:23 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • NASA's Planet Hunting Probe Discovers Third New Planet

However, TESS is not just a planet-hunter.

Follow-up observations were made with multiple telescopes to confirm the exoplanet.

An artist's visualization of the exoplanet Pi Mensae c.

If it is confirmed as a planet, it could be the first Earth-sized planet discovered by TESS.

It orbits its host star every 36 days and is believed to have a surface temperature of 150°C (300°F).

"It's the coolest small planet that we know of around a star this bright", Dr Dragomir said. The star is a cool M-type dwarf star about one-fifth the size of our Sun.

The second discovery was LHS 3884b, which orbits so close to its star that some of its rocky surface on the daytime side may form pools of molten lava.

The newly discovered planet orbits a bright and nearby star which is about 53 light years away in the constellation Reticulum.

Calling the planet small is a bit misleading, the team says that HD 21749b is about three times the size of Earth placing it into the sub-Neptune category.

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'This planet has a greater density than Neptune, but it isn't rocky. Its size is different from other exoplanets that revolve around a star outside our solar system.

But there's a reason it's so super, it's about twice the size of regular Earth and astronomers say as it's located in our "habitable zone", might even contain life - also, the other option for a name is K2-288Bb, which isn't the catchiest. If confirmed, it could be the smallest TESS planet to date. Over the course of two years, the four wide-field cameras on board will stare at different sectors of the sky for days at a time. The primary aim is to look for exoplanet transits, which occur when a planet passes in front of its host star as viewed from TESS's perspective.

Even though the Kepler spacecraft ceased operations months ago, after almost a decade in service, its legacy continues: Today, researchers announced that they have found a planet roughly twice as big as Earth, located within what could be its parent star's habitable zone.

"This is only the ninth system discovered containing six or more planets", he said. Six of these events, highlighted in this movie, are supernovae - exploding stars - located in distant galaxies.

During the first month of data collection, TESS captured images of six supernovae, said Michael Fausnaugh, another researcher at the MIT Kavli Institute.

"Some of the most interesting science occurs in the early days of a supernova, which has been very hard to observe before TESS", said Michael Fausnaugh, a TESS researcher at the MIT Kavli Institute.

The Kepler space telescope ran out of fuel late October, as expected, ending its nine and a half year mission of hunting for planets outside our solar system. Indeed, HD 21749b is very far-flung for TESS; two other smallish worlds found by the mission have orbital periods of 11 hours and 6.3 days, respectively. Astronomers don't know which scenario is more common, but TESS could detect modifications to the early light of the explosion caused by the presence of a stellar companion.

Those first three days of data were ignored, and errors were corrected in the rest of the data gathered. There were initial concerns about the accuracy of Kepler's measurements collected during the first few days after it was reoriented in the sky.


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