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NASA’s TESS Mission discovers exoplanet in our galaxy older than Sun

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    Science & Technology
  • Published
    25th Jan, 2021


  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered an exoplanet in the Milky Way galaxy.

What are the key points of the finding?

  • Researchers believe it is 10 billion years old, more than twice as old as our Sun.
  • The planet named TOI-561b orbiting outside our solar system is 1.5 times the size of the Earth, has more mass than Earth, but almost the same density.
  • The planet orbits around its sun, which is located in the galactic thick disk, very quickly and completes it in about 12 hours.
  • The study also mentions that the temperature on the planet’s surface reaches 1,726 degrees Celsius which makes it not suited for habitation.
  • The unique finding about this ‘Super-Earth’ is its density, considering the size in comparison to Earth. However, older planets are less dense owing to the less quantity of heavy metals found on them.

What is TESS?

  • NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is an all-sky survey mission that will discover thousands of exoplanets around nearby bright stars.
  • TESS launched April 18, 2018 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

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