Although astronomers have now discovered more than 5,000 exoplanets, or planets outside the solar system, most of these planets are significantly larger than Earth. That’s because finding larger planets is easier from greater distances in space. It’s exciting when an Earth-sized planet is discovered — and the Hubble Space Telescope recently confirmed that it’s 1.07 times the size of Earth.
The planet LTT 1445Ac was first discovered by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) in 2022, but its exact size was difficult to determine due to the plane of its orbit around its star when viewed from Earth. „There’s a chance that this system has unfortunate geometry, and if so, we won’t measure the exact size. But with Hubble’s capabilities we nailed down its diameter,” said lead researcher Emily Bass of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Report.
The new observations show that the planet is 1.07 times the diameter of Earth, so it is a rocky planet similar to Earth, as well as having surface gravity. However, its surface temperature is a scorching 260°C making it not a habitable place. It is part of a triple star system located 22 light-years away and is one of the nearest planets traveling across a star.
„Transiting planets are exciting because their atmospheres can be characterized by spectroscopy, not only with Hubble, but also with the James Webb Space Telescope,” Bass said. „Our measurement is important because it tells us that this could be a very nearby terrestrial planet. We look forward to follow-up observations that will allow us to better understand the diversity of planets around other stars.
One of the most important capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope is the ability to study the atmospheres of exoplanets, which is the next step in understanding these planets and searching for Earth-like planets. But the research shows that the venerable Hubble telescope, now more than 30 years old, continues to be vital to exoplanet research.
„Hubble plays an important role in the characterization of exoplanets,” said Laura Kreidberg of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, who was not involved in the research. One of the best planets. Learn about its atmospheric properties.”
Published in Research Journal of Astronomy.
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