Far, far away
It’s not the only potentially habitable world in the TOI-700 system.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith (USRA)
Of all the planets orbiting red dwarf star TOI-700, just one roughly Earth-sized world seemed to hold promise for hosting extraterrestrial life.
This week, a team led by NASA scientists announced that a second planet was just discovered in TOI-700’s habitable zone.
The newly-named, potentially rocky exoplanet orbits slightly closer to its star than sister planet TOI-700 d. It is similar in size to Venus.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
The planet was discovered with NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), and took an additional year to locate because of its smaller size.
The planet is 95 percent the size of Earth.
Its order in TOI-700 system might be a little confusing: planet e is located between planet c and planet d.
That’s simply due to the fact that it was discovered most recently.
That means planet e probably had liquid water on its surface at some point during its lifetime.
Pavirakit Songkhao / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images
Planet d, on the other hand, is more likely to have had surface water over most of its lifetime.
“This is one of only a few systems with multiple, small, habitable-zone planets that we know of.”
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory postdoctoral fellow Emily Gilbert, who led the research on TOI-700 e.