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Thread: ExoPlanet TOI700D The First Earth-Size Habitable-Zone World Found By NASA’s Planet Hunter

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    Lightbulb ExoPlanet TOI700D The First Earth-Size Habitable-Zone World Found By NASA’s Planet Hunter

    Welcome To "TOI 700 D" ... The First Earth-Size Habitable-Zone World Found By NASA’s Planet Hunter


    This is an artist’s impression of TOI 700 d, the first Earth-size habitable-zone planet discovered ... [+]

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight CenterAstronomers using NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered its first Earth-size planet in its star's habitable zone. That’s crucial because it may mean the planet, called TOI 700 d, has liquid water on its surface.
    It also appears to have one side of the planet in eternal sunshine and the other in a never-ending night.

    What and where is planet TOI 700 d?

    It’s orbiting a star called TOI 700, a cool “M dwarf” star about 100 light-years away in the southern constellation of Dorado, the dolphinfish. About 40% of the Sun’s mass and size, and about half its surface temperature, TOI 700 is bright, nearby, and shows no sign of harmful “stellar flares.” That means that any planets in orbit don’t get frequent blasts of deadly radiation that would almost certainly make life impossible.

    However, the TOI 700 star system is unlike the solar system in that all three planets detected so far are thought to be tidally locked to their star. That means they show only one face to the star—as the moon does to Earth—but it therefore means that only one side ever gets daylight.

    TESS’s first Earth-size planet in its star's habitable zone is nevertheless destined to be a very weird world indeed.


    What is an M Dwarf Star?

    It’s a red dwarf, the smallest sort of star and the most common type of star in the Milky Way galaxy. However, they’re too small to see with the naked eye. Cool and stable, most of the potentially habitable exoplanets discovered so far have been around red dwarfs. That’s partly because they’re so numerous and therefore the easiest type of stars to study, but as mentioned already, it’s also because they don’t flare. “In 11 months of data we saw no flares from the star, which improves the chances TOI 700 d is habitable and makes it easier to model its atmospheric and surface conditions,” says Emily Gilbert, a graduate student at the University of Chicago.

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    NASA's newest planet hunter just bagged some big game.

    For the first time, the agency's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered a roughly Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of its host star, the zone of orbital distances where liquid water could be stable on a world's surface, researchers announced today (Jan. 6).

    The newfound exoplanet, known as TOI 700 d, lies just 101.5 light-years from Earth, making it a good candidate for follow-up observations by other instruments, scientists added.

    Related: NASA's TESS Exoplanet-Hunting Mission in Pictures

    "TESS was designed and launched specifically to find Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby stars," Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said in a statement. "Planets around nearby stars are easiest to follow up with larger telescopes in space and on Earth. Discovering TOI 700 d is a key science finding for TESS."

    TESS, which launched in April 2018, hunts for planets using the "transit method," looking for telltale dips in stellar brightness caused by orbiting worlds crossing stars' faces from the satellite's perspective. This same strategy was used to great effect by NASA's Kepler space telescope, which discovered about 70% of the roughly 4,000 known exoplanets.

    Artist's illustration of TOI 700 d, the first Earth-size, haitable-zone planet discovered by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. (Image credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center)TESS found three different planets circling the star TOI 700 (TOI is short for "Tess Object of Interest"). One of the other planets is a red dwarf about 40% as massive, 40% as wide and 50% as hot as Earth's sun. The innermost world, TOI 700 b, is roughly Earth-sized and completes one orbit every 10 Earth days. The center planet, TOI 700 c, is 2.6 times bigger than our planet, meaning it's likely a gassy "mini-Neptune," and zips around TOI 700 every 16 days.

    TOI 700 d, the outermost known planet in the system, is the really intriguing one. It's just 20% larger than Earth and completes one orbit every 37 days. The alien world receives 86% of the stellar energy that Earth gets from the sun, putting TOI 700 d in the habitable zone (at least as it's traditionally defined), discovery team members said.
    All three planets may be tidally locked to TOI 700, always showing it the same face just as Earth's moon only ever shows us its near side. But tidal locking doesn't necessarily preclude the possibility of life on an alien world, astronomers say. And there's more good news along these lines regarding TOI 700.

    Related: Gallery: The Strangest Alien Planets

    "In 11 months of data, we saw no flares from the star, which improves the chances TOI 700 d is habitable and makes it easier to model its atmospheric and surface conditions," discovery team leader Emily Gilbert, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, said in the same statement.

    (Red dwarfs are generally much more active than the sun, and there's considerable debate about how habitable their planets may be as a result. Frequent and powerful flaring, for example, can strip away a planet's atmosphere.)

    TESS isn't the only spacecraft that has spotted evidence of TOI 700 d. A different team of researchers used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to confirm the existence of the alien planet.

    "Given the impact of this discovery — that it is TESS’s first habitable-zone Earth-size planet — we really wanted our understanding of this system to be as concrete as possible," team leader Joseph Rodriguez, an astronomer at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said in the same statement.

    "Spitzer saw TOI 700 d transit exactly when we expected it to," Rodriguez added. "It's a great addition to the legacy of a mission that helped confirm two of the TRAPPIST-1 planets and identify five more."

    TRAPPIST-1 is a dwarf star that lies just 40 light-years away from us and hosts seven Earth-size planets, three of which appear to be in the habitable zone. The system is a prime candidate for observation by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled to launch in 2021. James Webb should be able to probe the TRAPPIST-1 worlds' atmospheres for potential biosignature gases, such as methane and oxygen, scientists have said.

    TOI 700 is a bit farther away, but it's still close enough to be scrutinized in more detail in the future. And scientists do hope to learn more about it via observations by other instruments. For example, they want to pin down TOI 700 d's mass by measuring how much its gravity tugs the host star this way and that. Without knowing the mass, it's unclear how dense TOI 700 d is — and thus if it's a rocky world like Earth.
    And in-depth observations of light that has streamed through TOI 700 d's atmosphere on its way to Earth could tell us a great deal about conditions on the alien world's surface, which remain a total mystery at the moment.

    A third team of researchers, led by Gabrielle Engelmann-Suissa, a Universities Space Research Association visiting research assistant at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, did some modeling work to get at the various possibilities. And those possibilities are vast. For example, one of their simulations depicted TOI 700 d as an ocean-covered world with a carbon-dioxide-dominated atmosphere, whereas another one pictured the planet as a dry, cloudless world.

    "Someday, when we have real spectra from TOI 700 d, we can backtrack, match them to the closest simulated spectrum and then match that to a model," Engelmann-Suissa said in the same statement. "It's exciting because no matter what we find out about the planet, it’s going to look completely different from what we have here on Earth."

    Gilbert, Rodriguez and Engelmann-Suissa presented their results today in Honolulu at the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Their papers have also been submitted to scientific journals.

    Other exciting TESS news came out at AAS today as well. For example, mission team members also announced TESS' first circumbinary planet — a world with two suns in its sky — and revealed that the bright star Alpha Draconis and its dimmer companion mutually eclipse each other.

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    Last edited by ExomatrixTV; 7th January 2020 at 19:14.
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    Exclamation Re: ExoPlanet TOI700D The First Earth-Size Habitable-Zone World Found By NASA’s Planet Hunter

    WFIRST Will See the Big Picture of the Universe

    Scheduled to launch in the mid-2020s, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) will function as Hubble’s wide-eyed cousin. While just as sensitive as Hubble's cameras, WFIRST's 300-megapixel Wide Field Instrument will image a sky area 100 times larger. This means a single WFIRST image will hold the equivalent detail of 100 pictures from Hubble. The mission’s wide field of view will allow it to generate a never-before-seen big picture of the universe, which will help astronomers explore some of the greatest mysteries of the cosmos, like why the expansion of the universe seems to be accelerating. Some scientists attribute the speed-up to dark energy, an unexplained pressure that makes up 68 percent of the total content of the cosmos. The Wide Field Instrument will also allow WFIRST to measure the matter in hundreds of millions of distant galaxies through a phenomenon dictated by Einstein’s relativity theory. Massive objects like galaxies curve space-time in a way that bends light passing near them, creating a distorted, magnified view of far-off galaxies behind them. WFIRST will paint a broad picture of how matter is structured throughout the universe, allowing scientists to put the governing physics of its assembly to the ultimate test. WFIRST can use this same light-bending phenomenon to study planets beyond our solar system, known as exoplanets. In a process called microlensing, a foreground star in our galaxy acts as the lens. When its motion randomly aligns with a distant background star, the lens magnifies, brightens and distorts the background star.

    WFIRST's microlensing survey will monitor 100 million stars for hundreds of days and is expected to find about 2,500 planets, well targeted at rocky planets in and beyond the region where liquid water may exist. These results will make WFIRST an ideal companion to missions like NASA's Kepler and the upcoming Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which are designed to study larger planets orbiting closer to their host stars. Together, discoveries from these three missions will help complete the census of planets beyond our solar system.

    The combined data will also overlap in a critical area known as the habitable zone, the orbiting distance from a host star that would permit a planet's surface to harbor liquid water — and potentially life. By pioneering an array of innovative technologies, WFIRST will serve as a multipurpose mission, formulating a big picture of the universe and helping us answer some of the most profound questions in astrophysics, such as how the universe evolved into what we see today, its ultimate fate and whether we are alone.

    This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12238

    WFIRST has a 2.4m telescope, the same size as Hubble’s, but with a view 100 times greater than Hubble’s.

    In 2017 they said: Scheduled to launch in the "mid-2020s" sadly they do not mean around June 2020 but around 2025

    cheers,
    John Kuhles


    Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope
    Last edited by ExomatrixTV; 7th January 2020 at 20:33.
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    Default Re: ExoPlanet TOI700D The First Earth-Size Habitable-Zone World Found By NASA’s Planet Hunter

    NASA Has Announced That This Earth Size Planet TOI 700d Is In The Habitable Zone
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