NASA TESS Discovers Super-Earth That Can Maintain Water and Sustain Life

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NASA seems to have discovered a world beyond our solar system that could possibly sustain life. The super-Earth planet dubbed GJ357 d has been located by the space agency's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) which was launched last year. With the latest developments, the scope of finding life or habitable planets has increased.

NASA TESS Discovers Habitable Exoplanet 31 Light Years Away

 

Is It A Hot Earth?

The newly found planet is around 22 percent larger than the Earth and is around 31 light-years away, suggests NASA Gobbard Space Flight Center. The GJ 357 b also known as the "hot Earth," came under observation back in February where it darkened slightly every 3.9 days. This suggested an orbiting planet (potentially habitable) across the star.

With the scientists following up the observations from the ground, two more exoplanet siblings were discovered which includes the GJ357 c and GJ 357 d. The GJ375 c is said to be at least 3.4 times the mass of Earth with a temperature of 127 degrees Celsius.

Nasa revealed that the scientists associated with this project collected Earth-based telescopic data that goes back to over two decades. This was done in order to divulge the gravitational pull of the new Exoplanets on their hot star.

Lisa Kaltenegger, a member of the TESS team and astronomy associate professor at Corness University believes the new discovery could be very encouraging to the astronomers hunting for habitable planets. The TESS came in very handy for the research allowing the scientists to determine that the GJ 357 d can maintain liquid water like our planet and could give birth to a new form of life.

"This is exciting, as this is humanity's first nearby super-Earth that could harbor life - uncovered with help from TESS, our small, mighty mission with a huge reach," she said. "With a thick atmosphere, the planet GJ 357 d could maintain liquid water on its surface like Earth, and we could pick out signs of life with telescopes that will soon be online".

 

While the GJ357 c sounds inhabitable considering the temperature, the GJ357 d might offer Earth-like conditions. This outermost sibling of the super-Earth is at about one-fifth of Earth's distance from the Sun, however, it is unknown if it transits its star.

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