Researchers using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) have discovered two rocky exoplanets. The planets are in a system in our cosmic backyard, 33 light-years from Earth. These two planets are some of the closest rocky planets discovered to date.
The two planets are orbiting around a small star called HD 260655. These two planets are called super-Earth, which are 1.2 and 1.5 times the size of our planet. Researchers say that these planets are not habitable.
The nearest planet to the star, called HD 260655 b, has a surface temperature estimated at 816 degrees Fahrenheit (435 Celsius). The other planet HD 260655 c is estimated to have a temperature of 543 Fahrenheit (284 Celsius).
“Both planets in this system are each considered among the best targets for atmospheric study because of the brightness of their star,” explained one of the researchers, Michelle Kunimoto of MIT, in a statement. “Is there a volatile- rich atmosphere around these planets? And are there signs of water or carbon-based species? These planets are fantastic test beds for those explorations.”
Researchers do not know if these two planets have atmospheres or not.