Data gathered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has helped with the discovery of a rocky exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star.
The exoplanet has been named GJ 367b and it has been classified as an ultra-short period planet since it orbits its star in just 7.7 hours. Origins of ultra-short period planets are currently still unknown to scientists.
NASA's TESS is often referred to as an exoplanet hunter due to its mission, which is to find exoplanets. TESS was launched in 2018 by a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX. It has since discovered numerous exoplanets, including one that has been dubbed "Super-Earth."
NASA's TESS Helps with the Discovery of GJ 367b
NASA's TESS has helped with the discovery of a rocky exoplanet that has been named GJ 367b.
According to a report by Space, "GJ 367b is a rocky world about 70% as large as Earth and 55% as massive, making it one of the lightest known exoplanets."
It has also been discovered to be orbiting around a dim red dwarf star that is located just 31 light-years away from our own sun. One orbit lasts just 7.7 hours, making GJ 367b an ultra-short period planet or USP.
"We already know a few of these, but their origins are currently unknown," study co-lead author Kristine W. F. Lam said in a statement, according to Space.
Researchers do not think that the rocky exoplanet can sustain life like Earth can due to its very close proximity to its host star. The Space report mentions that GJ 367b is tidally locked as it shows the same face to its star.
It is also not yet known how GJ 367b was formed. However, given its proximity to our planet, it will be easier for scientists to learn more about this newfound exoplanet.
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS was launched by the space agency on April 18, 2018 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
According to NASA, TESS's mission is to "find exoplanets that periodically block part of the light from their host stars, events called transits." The satellite is meant to look at thousands of stars in its search for exoplanets.
"TESS will find the most promising exoplanets orbiting our nearest and brightest stars, giving future researchers a rich set of new targets for more comprehensive follow-up studies," NASA adds.
Ever since its launch in 2018, TESS has already made many exoplanet discoveries. In August, NASA announced that TESS has discovered hidden exoplanets that are located within a new planetary system.
Early this year, NASA's TESS also discovered an exoplanet that has since been dubbed by scientists as the "Super-Earth" due to its size and weight.
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Written by Isabella James