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Recent news coverage of environmental destruction and global warming can dishearten a hard-core optimist. People’s fear of Earth being uninhabitable in a few decades is rather rational and very worrisome. However, NASA’s discoveries come as a tiny relief to us as it’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) found three new exoplanets (planets found outside our solar system) that seem to be of interest to Earth— GJ 357 d in particular.
More exoplanet discoveries from @NASA_TESS! ðÂÂÂÂÂÂ One of these exoplanets is located in its star’s habitable zone, which means it's not too hot & not too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface. In other words, it’s “just right” for habitability. More: https://t.co/A88HKt58T8 pic.twitter.com/tGXrEDgUX2— NASA (@NASA) August 4, 2019
Since the planet is not a part of our solar system but rather 31 lightyears away, it has its own star around which it can be seen orbiting. Found on the outer edge of its star’s habitable zone, GJ 357 d is said to have a dense atmosphere. While the chances seem to be on the positive side, further studies by NASA will be able to determine more accurately whether this planet will capture heat to facilitate the existence of water on its surface.
Additionally, the planet weighs 6.1 times Earth’s mass and is assumed to be around twice its size. It orbits the complete distance around its star in 55.7 days. The exact size of the planet or its composition are yet unknown and further studies are currently underway to determine further information about the planet.
Two other exoplanets were also found around the same star but dismissed as uninhabitable. Let’s hope these planets are untouched by the destructive effects of manmade activities for a few centuries at least.
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