(ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers have discovered the fourth exoplanet in the nearby red dwarf system TOI-700, which turned out to be Earth-like and falls into the habitable zone.
At the same time, TOI-700e is likely to be in tidal lock, which means that it will always be day on one side and night on the other.
One of the main areas of research in exoplanetology is understanding how unique the solar system is.
Scientists now know that systems with multiple exoplanets are common and often have a flat, coplanar orbital architecture similar to our solar system.
However, it is not clear how often Earth-like planets can be found in them, especially those that fall into the habitable zone, where liquid water can exist on their surface.
A team of astronomers led by Emily A. Gilbert from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced the discovery of a new exoplanet located in the habitable zone of the star TOI-700.
It was made by the transit method using the TESS space telescope and the Campo Catino ground-based observatory.
TOI-700 is an inactive red dwarf of spectral type M2.5 with a mass of 0.419 solar masses and a radius of 0.417 solar radii.
The system is located at a distance of about 100 light-years from the Sun in the constellation Dorado and has three exoplanets, one of which is Earth-like and located in the habitable zone.
The newly discovered planet TOI-700e has a radius of 0.95 Earth radii and makes one revolution around the star in 27.8 days.
The planet is considered rocky and has not been previously discovered due to its small size.
The flux of radiation from a red dwarf reaching the planet is 1.27 of the flux of radiation that the Earth receives from the Sun.
Thus, TOI-700e is between Earth and Venus in terms of insolation and falls into the optimistic habitable zone.
This means that liquid water could exist on its surface for a long time, but there is no guarantee that it is available now.
Also, the exoplanet, like other planets in the system, is in tidal lock, which means that it will always be day on one side and night on the other.
Earlier, we talked about how water vapor was first found in the atmosphere of an exoplanet in the habitable zone.
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