New rocky exoplanet with three red suns discovered

Shane McGlaun - Aug 22, 2019, 9:17 am CDT
New rocky exoplanet with three red suns discovered

NASA has announced that a new exoplanet has been discovered and the new exoplanet is called LTT 1445 A b. It was discovered using data from the TESS space telescope. A team from the Harvard Center for Astrophysics discovered the system when looking through TESS data. The team says that LTT 1445 A b is likely a rocky world and its orbits its parent star very quickly needing only five days for an orbit.

LTT 1445 A b is about 22 light-years away from Earth. Since it orbits so close to its parent star, the scientist think it has very high surface temperatures in the order of 320 degrees Fahrenheit. That is hot enough to cook in your oven.

The planet is in a single stable orbit around its star, but a pair of sibling stars orbit each other at a greater distance, and the planets host star orbits those stars. That makes LTT 1445 A b part of a three-star solar system. NASA points out that all three of the stars in the LTT 1445 system are red dwarf stars.

A red dwarf star is cooler but far longer-burning than larger yellow stars like our Sun. LTT 1445 A b itself is the second-closest planet discovered so far that transits its star. That means the planet’s orbit is tilted at the correct angle so that form our vantage point it passes across the face of the star.

The transit allows space telescope like TESS designed to detect the faint decreasing light as the planet transits the star to find them. The closest transiting planetary system to Earth that has been discovered so far is HD 219134 bc, which is about 21-light years away.

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