NASA TESS Chronicles Its Smallest Exoplanet — 80% Of Earth's Size


NASA's TESS spacecraft has done it again, and this time around the space telescope has discovered a smaller planet than our Earth. The new planet called the L 98-59 system, L 98-59b, that's 80 percent the size of Earth and 10 percent smaller than TESS'ss previous discoveries.

NASA TESS Chronicles Its Smallest Exoplanet — 80% Of Earth's Size


The system is located around 34.6 light years away, and all of the planets found so far reside in the "Venus zone" where a runaway greenhouse gas effect could make them uninhabitable. The vessel spotted the planets studying the regular dips in the star's brightness due to passing planets.

More information can be expected in the coming days. TESS will complete its first year of studies this year and it would be enough to collect more detail about the discovered planets and discover more.

The discovery also shows that TESS can locate a wide range of exoplanets, and also detect rocky worlds to closely study with the James Webb Space Telescope. This will also help astronomers determine why planets become habitable or become lifeless like Venus.

Besides, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snapped a tiny galaxy called ESO 495-21, thanks to its Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. The galaxy is 30 million light-years away from Earth and is located in the constellation of Pyxis.

The galaxy is 3000 light-years across, which is nowhere close to the sheer size of our Milky Way, which is 100,000 light-years across. But it might hold secrets to the evolution of galaxies over time, and what causes the expansion of a galaxy.

Previously, Hubble also captured an irregular galaxy called IC 10, a member of the Local Group. A Local Group comprises of over 50 galaxies in our cosmic neighborhood that includes the Milky Way.

The IC 10 doesn't feature the shape of spiral galaxies like our Milky Way. It also lacks the rounded, ethereal shape of elliptical galaxies. The galaxy is approximately 2.2 million light years away. It was discovered by American astronomer Lewis Swift back in 1887.

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