NASA finds planet outside solar system that may have water

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

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

If it's a water planet, HD 21749b is likely to be steamy: Based on its proximity to its parent star, the surface temperature could be in the neighborhood of 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Johanna Teske, a Hubble fellow and co-author of the report, said: "I'm very interested to know whether [it] has an Earth-like density to match its Earth-like radius - this will contribute to our understanding whether Earth-sized planets have diverse compositions or are all roughly similar to Earth".

Since Kepler is no longer hunting for planets, NASA is now hoping that a new space telescope will aid in the search: the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). All three planets were discovered in the first three months of TESS observations.

The researchers announced the find today at the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.

The newfound planet K2-288Bb, illustrated here, is slightly smaller than Neptune.

A timely reminder of that fact comes in the form of an all-new exoplanet discovery made by citizen scientists who dedicated their time to combing through Kepler's logs.

"We learned from Kepler that there are more planets than stars in our sky, and now TESS will open our eyes to the variety of planets around some of the closest stars", Paul Hertz, the director of NASA's astrophysics division, said in March 2018.

"It's the coolest small planet that we know of around a star this bright", Dragomir said.

Citizen scientists have discovered a potentially habitable exoplanet roughly twice the size of Earth, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Monday. 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.

LHS 3884b is 49 light-years away in the Indus constellation, orbiting a cool M-dwarf star that's only about one-fifth the size of our sun.

They also used data from the Planet Finder Spectrograph, an instrument installed on the Magellan Telescope in Chile, to further validate their findings and constrain the planet's mass and orbit. For what it's worth, several TESS finds have been the subject of pre-print research papers.

The discoveries of a new planet and several supernovae are exciting enough and what's to come should give us even more information about the phenomena already discovered.

"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.

TESS is in the process of scanning the entire southern sky, after which it will turn and canvass the northern sky. Observing just one sector of the sky once it began science operations, researchers announced at AAS that TESS has already identified six supernovae - a remarkable finding.

Tess monitors sections of the sky and waits for momentary dips in the light of about 200,000 nearby stars - a sign that a planet has passed in front of that star.

Kepler is now on the "K2" mission to discover more exoplanets.

The exoplanet, called K2-288Bb, is within its star's habitable zone, which means liquid water could exist on its surface.

These exoplanets will be studied so that NASA can determine the best targets for future missions, like the James Webb Space Telescope. There were too many light curves to study on their own. That telescope, launching in 2021, would be able to characterize the details and atmospheres of exoplanets in ways scientists have not been able to do.

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