TESS – Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), launched by NASA in April 2018 was designed to detect specifically earth-sized planets in the orbit of nearby stars. Going years of tiresome research and going through heaps of data, Scientists have finally discovered a potentially habitable exoplanet in the outskirts of Milky Way Galaxy in the orbit of constellation Dorado.
Found on January 3, 2020, after a brief period of 4 years since the discovery of Proxima b, this super-earth called TOI 700D completes its orbit around red dwarf in a period of 5.2 Earth years. This super-earth planet is at a distance of 101.4 light-years in the Dorado constellation found with the help of the transit method.
Earth and Super-Earth
Let’s have a look at the Earth and super-earth and try to derive a conclusion related to the possibility of life on “TOI 700D”. Both of these planets rest in the habitable zone of their respective stars but according to the latest data provided by TESS, TOI 700D is 20% larger than the Earth. The star it orbits is a Red Dwarf which is only 40% the size of the sun’s mass and size, however, on the other hand, our sun is a Young Sequence C Type Star. Its orbital period is 37 days and according to the latest data provided by TESS, it receives about a total of 86% solar incident that Earth receives from the sun.
Since this super-earth is 20% bigger than the Earth, life as we know it may not exist there, however, looking at the complexity of life and its’s adaptability, we could expect to find bizarre creatures here who could have adapted themselves to this type of environment. It is one of the only super-earth found till date resting in the habitable zone of its orbiting star.
Future Exploration of TOI 700D
Since the exact conditions on TOI 700D are unknown, still scientists used the data gathered from TESS and Spitzer Space Telescope like the planet’s size, its distance from the star and the type of star it orbits to make computer simulations. One of those simulations revealed a world covered with oceans and dense clouds of carbon dioxide providing a greenhouse effect that may assist in harboring life on the planet. We are not so sure what the future observations will reveal about the planet but as the data suggests this could prove to be a new home for mankind.
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This Article is Written By Sukhjit Singh & Mallika.