Sunday, October 17, 2021

TESS discovers four exoplanets orbiting a star close to the sun | MIT News

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MIT researchers have discovered four new exoplanets orbiting a sun-like star just over 200 light years from Earth. Due to the diversity of these planets and the brightness of their stars, this system could be an ideal target for atmospheric characterization with NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. Tansu Daylan, a post-doctoral fellow at MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, led the study published in The Astronomical Journal on January 25.

With further study, Daylan says, this bright star and its many planets could be essential in understanding how planets take shape and evolve. “When it comes to characterizing planetary atmospheres around sun-like stars, this is probably one of the best targets we’ll ever get,” he says of the results he presented earlier. in the month at the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Transit method

Daylan and his colleagues detected these planets with the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a NASA mission led by MIT. To identify exoplanets with TESS, researchers look for changes in the amount of light coming from a star. A little dip in the light of a star could mean that a planet has …

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