NASA TESS Detected Super-Earth Gliese 486b Nearby

The new rocky planet, known as Gliese 486b, was discovered about 26 light-years from Earth, making it a near galactic neighbor.

NASA has discovered a new “super-Earth” in what physicists have dubbed a “dream.” The said planet could provide an excellent opportunity to research the atmosphere of a rocky alien planet similar to Earth.

The new rocky planet, known as Gliese 486b, was discovered about 26 light-years from Earth, making it a near galactic neighbor.

Experts uploaded the planet’s observations in the journal Science on Friday. The study title is “A Nearby Transiting Rocky Exoplanet That Is Suitable for Atmospheric Investigation.”

What is Gliese 486b? Is It Too Hot to Handle?

Experts used NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which searches for transiting planets, to examine the super-earth. It does so by detecting small dips in a star’s light, which only occur when an object or planet passes between the sun’s face and the satellite’s point of view. They also employ Dopper Radial Velocity, which searches for planets by measuring how their gravity wobbles against other stars’ gravity.

The metallic core of Gliese 486b is similar to Earth’s. But FirstPost said the super-Earth’s landscape is hot and dry. This is due to the planet’s proximity to the star. It is discovered that one year on Gliese 486b is equivalent to just a day and a half on Earth time.

The only thing that Earth and Gliese 486b share in common is that they are both rocky planets.

The new world is 30% larger and almost three times as heavy as Earth.

The super-earth is also likely that the scorching surface is surrounded by glistening lava flows.

Independent.co.uk said the surface temperature of Gliese 486b is 430 degrees Celsius, which is way too hot to sustain life similar to ours.

Although super-Earths aren’t uncommon, Gliese 486b is unique for two reasons: its radiation causes the atmosphere to puff up, and it’s a transiting world, which means it passes in front of its star from Earth’s viewpoint.

Both of these variables are expected to aid astronomers in taking samples and analyzing the planet’s atmosphere.

Is Gliese 486b The ‘Dream’ Planet?
Gliese 486b orbits a red star. While it can’t sustain human life for obvious reasons, scientists hope it will help them figure out whether similar planets may be habitable for humans.

South China Morning Post said the Gliese 486b’s proximity to Earth and physical characteristics make it ideal for studying the environment with the next generation of space-borne and ground-based instruments, beginning with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

Astrophysicist and study co-author José Caballero of Centro de Astrobiología in Spain told Space.com that Gliese 486b would instantaneously become the Rosetta Stone of exoplanetology – at least for Earth-like planets.

“This is the kind of planet we’ve been dreaming about for decades,” said study co-author Ben Montet per Newsbreak.

With the array of sophisticated telescopes that will come online in the coming years, scientists expect to research it. According to Dr. Montet, Gliese 486b is the kind of planet studied for the next 20 years.

Although super-Earths are not uncommon in the cosmos, he acknowledged that finding one in our own galactic neighborhood is unusual.

Originally published at The Science Times

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