Earth-like exoplanet with volcanoes found by NASA's TESS and Spitzer telescopes | Tech News

Earth-like exoplanet with volcanoes found by NASA's TESS and Spitzer telescopes

Scientists using NASA's TESS and Spitzer telescopes have made a remarkable discovery beyond our solar system.

| Updated on: May 20 2023, 08:38 IST
NASA telescopes pick up 5 asteroids coming towards Earth! One is 524-foot giant
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1/6 Astonishingly, NASA has tracked 5 asteroids approaching Earth with sizes varying from 23 feet to 524 feet. To track these asteroids, NASA uses various telescopes and observatories such as the Pan-STARRS, the Catalina Sky Survey, and the NEOWISE telescope. (NASA)
2/6 Asteroid 2023 JL2 – It will make its extremely close approach to the planet tomorrow, May 20. The asteroid, with a width of 130 feet, will approach at a distance of 5.9 million kilometers and at a speed of nearly 33666 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
3/6 Asteroid 2023 HG11 - Asteroid 2023 HG11 is currently heading towards Earth and will pass by Earth tomorrow, May 20. The asteroid is just 23 feet wide, travelling at almost 1576 kilometers per hour while making its closest approach at 4.5 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
4/6 Asteroid 2023 JK – Asteroid 2023 JK, with a width of almost 209 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth on May 21. The space rock is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 33425 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by a distance of 1.6 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
5/6 Asteroid 2023 JD4 – Asteroid 2023 JD4, which is nearly 206 feet wide, is heading for Earth and will make a close approach on May 21. This asteroid is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 37141 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a close distance of just 3.1 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
6/6 Asteroid 2023 GY2 – The biggest one of the week, Asteroid 2023 GY2 will make its closest approach to Earth on May 22 and it is between 236 feet and 524 feet across. As per NASA, it will come as close as 6.9 million kilometers and is already moving at a breakneck speed of 40811 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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Scientists have discovered an Earth sized Exoplanet with strong evidence of active volcanoes. (NASA)

Scientists using NASA's TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) and Spitzer Space Telescope have made a remarkable discovery —an Earth sized exoplanet orbiting a star in a neighbouring galaxy. This finding provides the strongest evidence to date of active volcanoes existing beyond our solar system.

The observations indicate that this rocky planet has a rugged surface and experiences frequent eruptions, resembling Jupiter's moon Io, which is the most volcanically active body in our solar system. While the volcanism on the exoplanet wasn't directly observed, scientists inferred its presence from the gravitational interaction with the larger of the two planets also orbiting the star.

The gravitational pull of the larger planet may cause the newly identified exoplanet to flex and squeeze, leading to increased internal heat and volcanic activity on its surface, similar to Io. Planets outside our solar system are called exoplanets.

“There is no direct observational evidence of exoplanet volcanism yet, but this planet is a strong candidate.” according to University of Kansas astronomy professor Ian Crossfield, one of the co-authors of the research published in Nature.

On the other hand, Bjorn Benneke, head of the astronomy group at the University of Montreal and co-author of the research explained, "the exoplanet does not rotate, resulting in one side permanently bathed in daylight and the other in complete darkness. The dayside is too hot for liquid water, likely making it a dry and hot desert, while the nightside potentially hosts a large icy glacier."

The most intriguing region is where the day and nightside meet. Benneke suggests that water from the nightside glacier may melt, forming liquid surface water. The planet likely has volcanoes distributed all over its surface, including under the ice on the nightside.

This remarkable discovery unveils the fascinating dynamics of exoplanets and their potential for geological activity beyond what we have observed in our own solar system.

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First Published Date: 19 May, 16:39 IST