Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Technology in Space and Defence
- NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered an Earth-size planet in its star’s habitable zone.
- Scientists confirmed the find, called TOI 700 d, using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and have modeled the planet’s potential environments to help inform future observations.
What is Goldilocks zone?
A habitable zone, also called the “Goldilocks zone”, is the area around a star where it is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface of surrounding planets.
About TOI 700 d
- TOI 700 d measures 20% larger than Earth. It orbits its star once every 37 days and receives an amount of energy that is equivalent to 86% of the energy that the Sun provides to Earth.
- The star, TOI 700, is an “M dwarf” located just over 100 light-years away in the southern constellation Dorado, is roughly 40% of our Sun’s mass and size, and has about half its surface temperature.
- Two other planets orbit the star — TOI 700 b, which is almost exactly Earth-size, probably rocky, and which completes an orbit every 10 days, and TOI 700 c, the middle planet, which is 2.6 times larger than Earth, is probably gas-dominated, and orbits every 16 days.
- TOI 700 d is the outermost planet, and the only one in the star’s habitable zone.
- Because TOI 700 is bright, nearby, and shows no sign of stellar flares, the system is a prime candidate for precise mass measurements by current ground-based observatories.
- These measurements could confirm scientists’ estimates that the inner and outer planets are rocky and the middle planet is made of gas.
- Future missions may be able to identify whether the planets have atmospheres and, if so, even determine their compositions.
- Scientists can use current information, like the planet’s size and the type of star it orbits, to generate computer models and make predictions.