The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, also known as TESS, has recently discovered that some nearby stars have many fascinating planets orbiting them. The mission TESS has lasted for over one year so far, the period in which it needs to scan as close to the entire sky as possible. Recently, TESS spotted a super-Earth exoplanet in a nearby triple star system.
TESS mission needs to indicate the presence of exoplanets by comparing the brightness of each of the 200,000 stars it follows, and do it correctly at the same time. The space probe focuses on the nearby stars as they are the most bright. However, it was able to find an exoplanet extremely close to the Sun and orbiting a triple star system formed by red dwarfs.
TESS spotted a super-Earth exoplanet in a triple star system
LTT 1445 is the name the triple star system received, and it looks like a red star both from TESS’s perspective and from the Earth’s observatories, as well. However, when looking at high-resolution images, there are three stars. LTT 1445 A is the brightest in the group, while the other ones are B and C are dimmer. B and C orbit each other and both of them orbit A. This phenomenon is called a triple star system or a hierarchical trinary.
LTT 1445Ab, the super-Earth exoplanet orbits the primary star. The orbit can be seen pretty well, and as seen from our planet LTT 1445Ab goes directly in front of the star when it passes. This way expert could measure the star which seems to be bigger than the Earth by 1.35 time, but still not as big as Neptune. The planet orbits the star once in almost six days, so a year there lasts not even a week. Because it is a dwarf, this star is dimmer, smaller and cooler than the Sun.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.