New multiplanet system discovered within our galactic neighborhood

A group of astronomers has discovered a multiplanet system within 10 parsecs or within our relative galactic neighborhood.

Published Thu, Jun 16 2022 1:03 AM CDT

A group of astronomers have discovered a new multiplanet system that resides within our galactic neighborhood and maybe the closest known multiplanet system to Earth.

New multiplanet system discovered within our galactic neighborhood 25 |

The astronomers, some of which are from MIT, initially used NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to discover the multiplanet system, which contains a small and cool M-dwarf star now named HD 260655. Additionally, the researchers found two terrestrial Earth-sized planets, which are believed to be rock worlds that have relatively tight orbits around HD 260655.

Due to the orbits of both of the rocky planets being relatively tight, the researchers believe that it's likely the Earth-sized planets aren't habitable as the planets would be exposed to the extreme temperatures of their local star. Despite the planets likely not being suitable for life, astronomers and researchers are still excited about the discovery as the planets are prime prospects for atmospheric study.

"Both planets in this system are each considered among the best targets for atmospheric study because of the brightness of their star. Is there a volatile-rich atmosphere around these planets? And are there signs of water or carbon-based species? These planets are fantastic test beds for those explorations," says Michelle Kunimoto, a postdoctoral in MIT's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research and a lead scientist on the discovery.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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