Researchers are constantly searching the cosmos for star systems that have exoplanets that are similar to Earth, and now they may have found one.
Using the advanced Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), researchers were able to identify signals from the planetary system called L 98-59. The star system is located just 35 light-years from Earth, which is relatively close in terms of space travel. The star system has intrigued researchers as its believed to contain new worlds that have similar characteristics and compositions to Earth.
According to Diana Dragomir, an exoplanetologist at the University of New Mexico, "There was quite some detective work involved, and the right people were there at the right time." Adding, "But we were lucky, and we caught the signals, and they were really clear." The observation has marked a milestone for TESS.
According to Dragomir, "For stars that are very close by and very bright, we expected to find up to a couple dozen Earth-sized planets. And here we are-this would be our first one, and it's a milestone for TESS. It sets the path for finding smaller planets around even smaller stars, and those planets may potentially be habitable."
The second author on the paper, Johanna Teske, said despite launching just a year ago, TESS has already become "a game-changer in the planet-hunting business." Adding, "The spacecraft surveys the sky, and we collaborate with the TESS follow-up community to flag potentially interesting targets for additional observations using ground-based telescopes and instruments."
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