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NASA has unveiled the discovery of a super-Earth exoplanet, named TOI-715 b, located merely 137 light-years from Earth, sparking interest in its potential for supporting life.

This planet, significantly larger than Earth, resides within the habitable zone of its parent star, a crucial area that could permit the existence of liquid water on its surface.

Toi 715 B Exoplanet Discovery 20240206011347

The exoplanet orbits a red dwarf star, which is notably smaller and cooler than our Sun, allowing for a closer and more condensed orbital path. This unique orbit shortens the planet’s year to just 19 Earth days, enhancing its visibility and observation frequency for scientists. Discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched in 2018, TOI-715 b’s detection adds to a growing list of habitable zone exoplanets of interest for future scrutiny, particularly with the aid of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

In addition to TOI-715 b, there’s potential evidence of a second Earth-sized planet within the same system, possibly lying within the habitable zone as well. Confirmation of this would establish it as the smallest habitable-zone planet found by TESS to date, marking a significant milestone in exoplanet discovery and the ongoing search for life-sustaining conditions beyond our solar system.


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