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Planetary System TOI 270

Wed 31 Jul, 2019

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered three new smallest and nearest exoplanets named TOI 270. TOI 270 is about 73 light years away from Earth, and is located in the constellation Pictor.

Importance

  • With these observations researchers will able to determine the make-up of these worlds, presence of atmosphere and what type of gases they contain.
  • It will not only boost the knowledge but also help in finding out another potentially habitable world which supports life.

Background

Nasa’s Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) was launched into space in 2018 and it is scanning the universe for stars and planets that could support alien life.

About TOI 270

  • Its members include the dwarf star, which is 40 per cent smaller than the Sun in size and mass, and the three planets or exoplanets (planets outside the solar system) that have been named TOI 270 b, TOI 270 c, and TOI 270 d. These three planets orbit the star every 3.4 days, 5.7 days, and 11.4 days respectively.
  • TOI 270 b is the innermost planet. Researchers expect it to be a rocky world about 25 per cent bigger than Earth. It is not habitable since it is located too close to the star about 13 times closer than our Solar System’s Mercury is from the Sun.
  • TOI 270 c and TOI 270 d are Neptune-like planets because their compositions are dominated by gases rather than rock. Planet d, which is suspected to have a rocky core covered by a thick atmosphere, offers a surface unfavourably warm for the existence of liquid water, thereby rendering the planet potentially uninhabitable.

Exoplanet

All of the planets in our solar system orbit around the Sun. Planets that orbit around other stars are called exoplanets.