NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has discovered TOI 561-b, which orbits the TOI-561 star system. This planet is approximately 50% larger than Earth, but takes half the time to orbit its star due to its close proximity. What kind of life could survive there? Well, the kind that can survive an estimated average surface temperature of over 2,000 degrees Kelvin, but it might have been a different story in the past. Read more for a video and additional information.
TESS is essentially a satellite designed for studying the mass, size, density and orbit of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky planets in the habitable zones of their host stars. The TESS Mission team utilized the University of California’s access to the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii to observe the presence of planet TOI-561b, which belongs to a rare population of stars called the galactic thick disk.
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For every day you’re on Earth, this planet orbits its star twice. This is surprising because you’d expect the density to be higher. This is consistent with the notion that the planet is extremely old,” said UC Riverside planetary astrophysicist and team member Stephen Kane.