NASA scientists discover Earth-sized, 'habitable zone' world just 100 light-years away
Called TOI 700 e, the planet is 95% Earth’s size and likely rocky - and is at a temperature that might support liquid water. It is located about 100 light-years away in a constellation called Dorado.
On Tuesday NASA scientists confirmed their discovery of an Earth-sized planet, called "TOI 700 e."
Located about 100 light-years away, TOI 700 e is likely rocky and orbits within a habitable zone of its star. This means that the planet’s proximity to its star may provide the conditions necessary for liquid water to be present on its surface.
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Its star, called "TOI 700," helped scientists discover the new planet’s existence.
NASA’s Transitioning Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, tracked the brightness of TOI 700 for extended periods of time and noted when its brightness faded and then returned.
These changes in brightness were suspected to be caused by a planet crossing in front of the star and blocking its light during orbit.
Scientists studied these observations and confirmed the presence of a new planet, TOI 700 e.
TOI 700 e is the latest planetary discovery in this solar system. In 2020, three other planets were also found orbiting the star TOI 700. Named TOI 700 b, TOI 700 c and TOI 700 d, they too are believed to orbit within the so-called optimistic habitable zone.
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TOI 700 e takes about 28 days to orbit its star, meaning that its solar year is the length of one February on Earth.
The planet may also be tidally locked, which means that it only spins once per orbit so that the same side always faces its star – similar to how only one side of our Moon always faces the Earth.
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NASA has confirmed the discovery of more than 5,000 exoplanets, or planets located outside the bounds of our solar system. Over 9,000 other discoveries have been made but are awaiting confirmation.