NASA discovers a new Earth-like planet in its star’s habitable zone

Using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), scientists have identified a new Earth-like world. Called TOI 700 e, it orbits its star in the habitable zone — the range of distances at which liquid water could occur on a planet’s surface. The world is remarkably similar to Earth — it’s 95 percent as big and likely rocky. Astronomers previously discovered three planets in this system, named TOI 700 b, c, and d. Planet d also orbits in the habitable zone. Planet e orbits the star within the optimistic habitable zone – where liquid water could exist under the right conditions. Planet D orbits within the conservative habitable zone – a distance where liquid water is most likely to exist and an Earth-like atmosphere could exist. These discoveries came from TESS’s second survey of the southern sky – and it took scientists an extra year of observations to discover TOI 700 e. They now hope to discover more worlds like this one.

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