NASA’s TESS Mission Finds Its Smallest Planet Yet
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered a world between the sizes of Mars and Earth orbiting a bright, cool, nearby star. The planet, called L 98-59b, marks the tiniest discovered by TESS to date.
Two other worlds orbit the same star. While all three planets’ sizes are known, further study with other telescopes will be needed to determine if they have atmospheres and, if so, which gases are present. The L 98-59 worlds nearly double the number of small exoplanets — that is, planets beyond our solar system — that have the best potential for this kind of follow-up.
Click here to read the full press release from NASA.
The paper, “The L 98-59 System: Three Transiting, Terrestrial-size Planets Orbiting a Nearby M Dwarf,” was published in The Astronomical Journal.