Second potentially habitable Earth-size planet found orbiting nearby star

‘Second potentially habitable Earth-size planet found orbiting a nearby star’

A new research project has announced the discovery of a planet outside our Solar System, which is believed to be the second potentially habitable Earth-sized planet found to date and the closest to our Solar System yet. The team of international astronomers responsible for the study used several ground- and space-based telescopes to analyze the star system, and then confirmed the presence of the planet.

The planet is called ‘TOI 700 d’ and it orbits its star, called TOI 700, which is located just over 100 light years away in the southern hemisphere of the sky – relatively close in astronomical terms.

What makes the planet ideal for life?

TOI 700d is an Earth-sized planet and is believed to be part of a system containing three planets in total, which includes two Earth-sized planets, known as TOI 700 b and c. All three planets orbit within the star’s ‘habitable zone’, which suggests that they could have temperatures suitable for liquid water to exist on their surfaces.

The presence of liquid water is an important factor in the assessment of overall habitability because it provides the necessary conditions for lifeforms to survive.

How was the planet detected?

The team responsible for the discovery used NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to detect the planets’ passage, known as a transit, across TOI 700’s facial disk. They then used ground-based observatories and other space-based telescopes, such as the Spitzer Space Telescope, to confirm the presence of the planets.

The research team measured the planets’ size by measuring their brightness as they crossed in front of their host star. From this, they were able to determine that all three planets were roughly Earth-like in size.

What do we know about TOI 700 d?

The world of science has been searching for planets like TOI 700 d for decades, and now our search has been rewarded. The planet is roughly 20% larger than Earth, with a mass and radius of 1.2 and 1.4 times our planet’s, respectively.

It orbits its star in a 37-day cycle and receives only 86% of the energy that the Earth receives from our own Sun. The team have estimated that the planet is likely to be tidally locked, meaning that one side of the planet always faces its star due to the gravitational pull.

What does the discovery mean?

The discovery of the second potentially habitable Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star is a significant breakthrough in the effort to find other worlds where life might exist. It is closest exoplanet of its kind discovered to date and provides researchers with a unique opportunity to search for signs of life.

The new research provides insight into the history of our own Solar System, as it helps scientists understand how terrestrial planets form and develop in different stellar environments. It will be some time before any further information on TOI 700 d and whether or not it shows signs of life, but the findings of this research certainly help to provide hope.


The discovery of the second potentially habitable Earth-sized planet orbiting a nearby star is a significant milestone in the search for alien life and in our understanding of how planets form and evolve. The new research opens up a whole new realm of possibilities and provides a unique opportunity for researchers to search for signs of life outside our Solar System.

This discovery adds to the growing list of extrasolar planets that scientists have found to be potentially habitable and gives us hope that, one day, we may find signs of life elsewhere in the Universe.

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