January 11, 2023
Using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, scientists have identified an Earth-size world, called TOI 700 e, orbiting within the habitable zone of its star – the range of distances where liquid water could occur on a planet’s surface. The world is 95% Earth’s size and likely rocky.
Astronomers previously discovered three planets in this system, called TOI 700 b, c, and d. Planet d also orbits in the habitable zone. But scientists needed an additional year of TESS observations to discover TOI 700 e.
“This is one of only a few systems with multiple, small, habitable-zone planets that we know of,” said Emily Gilbert, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California who led the work. “That makes the TOI 700 system an exciting prospect for additional follow up. Planet e is about 10% smaller than planet d, so the system also shows how additional TESS observations help us find smaller and smaller worlds.”