More observations will be needed to more precisely determine the nature of these planets, but the discovery is exciting and suggests that more such worlds may be found in the Sun’s neighborhood.
Even if an exoplanet is uninhabited, worlds in the habitable zone are relatively rare, especially rocky ones.
The two exoplanets were discovered by NASA’s Exoplanet Hunting Telescope TESS, writes Science Alert.
Observing the small red dwarf LP 890-9 (also known as TOI-4306), the telescope recorded the faint, gradual dips in starlight that occur when an exoplanet orbits between us and the star.
transits data A lot can be said about an exoplanet—by how dim the star’s brightness is, scientists can determine the exoplanet’s diameter.
Other data, including measurements of radial velocity, which can be used to determine the exoplanet’s gravitational force on the star and thus its mass, allowed the team to image both exoplanets in detail.
Although the masses of both exoplanets were not measured, the radial velocity data allowed scientists to place an upper limit on the masses of both exoplanets.
LP 890-9b has a diameter 1.32 times that of Earth and up to 13 times the mass of Earth.
These measurements are consistent with the density of rocky worlds such as Earth, Mars, and Venus.
This means that exoplanets can be classified as super-Earths – rocky worlds larger than Earth and smaller than Neptune.
Near each star’s orbit is a temperate climate, or habitable zone, where liquid water can exist on the planet’s surface.
LP 890-9c may be orbiting close to its star relative to Earth, but that star is much cooler and darker than the Sun.
In its orbital position, the exoplanet is in the conservative habitable zone of its star and receives radiation from the star similar to that of Earth.
“However, we should not get ahead of events.” “Standing in the right place doesn’t guarantee palm trees and a beach,” said Robert Wells, an astronomer at the University of Bern in Germany.
“Our neighboring planet Venus is also close to this habitable zone around the Sun.”
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