NASA's Exoplanet Mission Finds 1st Earth-Size Alien World

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission of NASA has discovered its first Earth-size alien world.

About the Discovery

  • The planet, HD 21749c, is about 89 per cent of Earth’s diameter.
  • The planet orbits HD 21749, a K-type star with about 70 per cent of the Sun’s mass located 53 light years away in the southern constellation Reticulum.
  • HD 21749c is the second planet TESS has identified in the system.
  • HD 21749c is the 10th confirmed planet discovered by TESS, and hundreds of additional candidates are now being studied.
  • HD 21749c doesn’t seem to have good life-hosting potential as it circles its host star very tightly, completing one orbit every 7.8 Earth days, and is therefore probably quite hot.

TESS which was launched just about a year ago is already a game-changer in the planet-hunting business. TESS total tally is likely to end up topping that of Kepler has found about 70% of the 4,000 exoplanets discovered to date.

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