- Researchers discovered a new exoplanet using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.
- TOI-197.0 is about 5 billion years old and the size of Saturn, but it is much warmer than Saturn, and takes 14 days to orbit its star.
- “This is the first bucketful of water from the fire hose of data we’re getting from TESS,” Steve Kawaler, an Iowa State University professor involved in the discovery said.
Researchers have discovered a new five-billion-year-old planet that is 60 times bigger than Earth using data from NASA’s space telescope TESS.
The planet, known as TOI-197.0 is currently one of the best described exoplanets – planets around stars other than the Sun – according to Aarhus University, which led the study.
Scientists have dubbed it a “hot Saturn” because it is about the size of Saturn, but much warmer. This is because the new planet is much closer to the star that it orbits than Saturn is to the sun.
The closeness to its star also means, TOI-197.0 probably doesn’t have the characteristic rings that Saturn has.
The researchers also determined that it takes the gas planet 14 days to orbit its star.
Mads Fredslund Andersen, co-author of the article, said it is usually not easy to determine stars’ parameters with such precision.
“It is a bit special that for this system, we have a planet around a star that shows clear star quakes, so we can determine the interesting parameters of the star and planet very accurately,” he said in the press statement.
Starquakes are seismic waves that cause the star around which the exoplanet orbits to vibrate. These vibrations allow astronomers to determine factors like the size, age, and mass of the star because they bring information from the interior of the star to the surface.
The scientists then combined this data with other observations that allowed them to determine the parameters of the exoplanet.
TOI-197.0 is one of the first exoplanets the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered. NASA launched the mission last April to take over from the Kepler telescope.
Steve Kawaler, an Iowa State University professor who co-authored the study on TOU-197.0, told CNN that the mission is providing quality data that allows researchers to do science they had not previously thought about.
“This is the first bucketful of water from the fire hose of data we’re getting from TESS,” he said.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.