The Secondary World

The Secondary World

Elijah Henry, Reporter

On January 10, 2023,  NASA found a new, maybe habitable exoplanet floating around in deep space. This planet was given the name TOI 700 e,  just one of four planets in this same system.

NASA scientists have believed to find this new creation habitable, due to knowing every solar system has a habitable zone. Depending on the size and strength of the star that the planets are orbiting, this zone varies in size. Luckily, for this exoplanet that zone is located right in the center of it. An individual from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory stated, “This is one of only a few systems with multiple, small, habitable-zone planets that we know of.”

What is known about this planet so far is that it is roughly 95%  the size of Earth, and most likely rocky. The star that this planet orbits is called TOI 700, which is where the planet itself gets its name from. The star is a small, cool, M-dwarf star located roughly 100 light-years away in the constellation “Dorado.” 

This specific planet isn’t the only interesting planet discovered in this system. TOI 700 d, which is around 90% of Earth’s size, has a thirty-seven day orbit; in other words, a whole year passes every thirty-seven days on Earth. On the other hand, TOI 700 c is over 2.5 times bigger than Earth and has an orbit around its star every sixteen days. 

How was this planet discovered you may be asking? A system that was quintessential for the discovery and exploration of space that was created in 2006 was responsible for this find. This system, known as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, more commonly known as TESS, was the finder. 

Who knows what NASA may encounter in the future. More fascinating exoplanets? Planets that rain diamonds such as Saturn, Neptune, or Uranus? Maybe even moving humans to a new habitable planet? Finding these planets is just the beginning of something massive. We may be exploring even farther into deep space faster than you think. TOI 700 e was just one of many fascinating finds.