3d rendering. rocky surface of non-earth habitable planet
Sean Cate
Sean Cate
May 23, 2024 ·  2 min read

NASA Discovered a Potentially Habitable Planet – An Alternative To Mars?

A groundbreaking discovery has just taken place, as scientists at NASA have shared the existence of a habitable planet that could potentially sustain life. And the news gets better, the planet is only a brief 100 light-years away. Named TOI 700 e, this planet shared a similar size to Earth and orbits a red dwarf star (TOI 700) alongside its planetary siblings, TOI 700 b, c, and d (yes, very imaginative bunch a NASA when it comes to naming things).1

A Habitable Planet, A Rocky World

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TOI 700 e is roughly 95% the size of Earth and is a rocky planet similar to our own. What makes TOI 700 e so special is that it is positioned in the optimistic habitable zone of its star. This means it holds promise for harboring conditions conducive to life (making it “habitable“, much like its sibling, TOI 700 d.2

Read More: Scientists have just discovered Earth’s twin planet – and there might be something living on it

The Key to A Habitable Planet

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The habitable zone, often dubbed the “Goldilocks zone,” references the sweet spot around a star where temperatures are just right for liquid water to exist on the planet’s surface. Emily Gilbert, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, states that “This is one of only a few systems with multiple, small, habitable-zone planets that we know of.”

Exoplanet Detection Techniques

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The discovery of TOI 700 e highlights how far we have come with cutting-edge technology like the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), designs ed monitor changes in brightness levels to show orbiting planets. The faint signal TOI 700 put out required an extended observation, showing the precision and capabilities of our scientists and the modern astronomical technologies.3

Read More: 30 Unique Succulents That Look Like They’re From Another Planet

The Quest Continues

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Beyond our solar system, scientists continue to search for a habitable planet. TOI 700 e joins a small list of other potentially life-supporting exoplanets, hopefully continuing a trend in finding more of humanity’s osmic neighbors.4

Understanding of Alien Worlds

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As astronomers continue to look futher into the mysteries a distant habitable planet may be hiding, they also strive better understand planetary formations and evolution. Keeping a keen eye on systems like TOI 700 will help unlock insights into the conditions necessary for life beyond Earth.

Future Exploration

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The existence of TOI 700 e marks a pivotal moment in humanity’s exploration of the cosmos. As our understanding of other worlds continues to develop, so too does our capacity to better ask the question: Are we alone in the universe? With each new discovery, we get just a little closer to unraveling the our cosmic existence with any other habitable planet we discover.

Read More: Spirulina: One of the Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on the Planet

Sources

  1. NASA has discovered an Earth-sized planet orbiting in the habitable zone of its star.” CBS News. Caitlin O’Kane. January 11, 2023.
  2. NASA just found a planet almost the size of Earth and it’s in the habitable zone of a star.” USA Today. Jordan Mendoza. January 11, 2023.
  3. NASA Planet Hunter Finds its 1st Earth-size Habitable-zone World.” NASA. Jeanette Kazmierczak. January 7, 2020.
  4. Two potentially habitable planets found orbiting distant star.” Astronomy.  Joey Rodriguez. March 8, 2023.