Yup. We made this strange discovery. But there is one more coming your way…..
1. Discovery of a planet which orbits around a PAIR of suns
The name of this planet is Kepler-1647b. It was discovered on 13 June 2016 by NASA’S Kepler Space Telescope. It is by far the LARGEST circumbinary planet found.
Now yes yes, let me explain what circumbinary planets are.
Circumbinary Planets are those planets which orbit around two stars.
So as stated above, Kepler 1647b also revolves around two stars/suns.
And because it has TWO suns,
You will obviously have TWO shadows !
Now your shadow will have a companion 😁
2. The first earth-sized planet discovered in its star’s habitable zone.
This discovery was made on 3rd January 2020. NASA’S Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discovered a star with planets transiting around it while it was on its usual expedition.
BTW TESS is a satellite by NASA which is meant to find other planets other than that of our solar system and find a possible life there (extra info)
So in one such expedition, TESS found a red dwarf star, named TOI 700 just around 100 light-years away. This star is about 40% of the mass and size of our Sun and about half its temperature.
It also observes three planets transiting around the star. The names of these planets being TOI 700b, TOI 700c, and TOI 700d.
The inner and the outermost planets, TOI 700b and TOI 700d respectively were detected to have size similar to that of Earth. These planets are rocky. The planet in between, however, is about twice their size and is probably made out of gas.
Scientists were particularly interested in TOI 700d. They sent a separate satellite, which was NASA’S Spitzer Space Telescope, to study about this planet more deeply. The interesting part though is that TOI 700d was transiting inside the star’s habitable zone. This means that it has the potential for having liquid water on its surface.
Spitzer saw clear transit from this planet confirming its existence and confirming scientist’s certainty of this planet’s size.
Scientists have created several models trying to understand the nature of this exciting planet.
Let’s wait. Maybe we will detect a collection of planets like our solar system soon around the corner!
Until Next Time
TA TA !