This is TOI-700e, a likely rocky Earth-sized exoplanet

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This is TOI-700e, a likely rocky Earth-sized exoplanet

Artistic illustration of exoplanets TOI-700e (largest planet) and TOI-700d.

A likely rocky Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting in its star's habitable zone has been detected by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

This habitable zone near its star corresponds to the distance where liquid water could be on the surface of a planet, explains Olivier Hernandez, the director of the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan.

Plus, it's just over 95% the diameter of the Earth. It is interesting because it has an atmosphere and is in the habitable zone, characteristics that resemble those of planet Earth, adds the astrophysicist.

The planet called TOI-700e is located 102 light years from the solar system in the constellation Dorade in the Southern Hemisphere.

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  • No less than 5241 exoplanets have been officially detected in more than 3916 planetary systems.
  • More than 9169 additional exoplanets are currently awaiting confirmation.

In 2020, three other planets had already been detected in the orbit of the star TOI-700.

If the planet was a little bigger, we might have been able to spot TOI-700e from the first data collection from TESS, said Ben Hord of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Its signal was so weak that we needed an additional year of transit observations to identify it.

The planet closest to the star , TOI-700b, is almost exactly the size of Earth, is likely rocky, and orbits once every 10 days.

TOI-700c is a gas giant about 2.6 times the size of Earth, and it orbits its star once every 16 days.

The outermost planet in the system, TOI-700d, is 1.1 times larger than Earth and has an orbital period of 38 days. It is also in the habitable zone of its star.

These planets would be in synchronous rotation of their star, that is to say that they always present the same face to their star.

NASA has found a new exoplanet, “TOI 700 e”, similar in size to Earth. Interview with Olivier Hernandez, director of the Montreal Planetarium.

This is one of the rare systems with several small planets in the habitable zone that we know of, said astronomer Emily Gilbert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a statement.

TOI-700e takes 28 days to orbit its star, placing the planet between TOI-700c and TOI-700d in the so-called optimistic habitable zone.

“Observations of the TOI-700 system with other space and ground-based observatories are currently underway and may lead to a better understanding of this rare system.

— Emily Gilbert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Anyway, this detection makes it possible to dream of discovering other worlds similar to our own.

There are 200 billion stars in our galaxy, and there are billions of galaxies in the Universe. Inevitably, somewhere, there is a planet which has the same characteristics as the Earth and where life has been able to develop, enthuses Olivier Hernandez.

Details of these observations announced at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society, currently being held in Seattle, will be the subject of an article which will soon be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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