A spacecraft launched by NASA last year on a mission to find new outer planets found a planet the same size as Earth.
NASA’s TESS satellite has detected its first Earth-size planet in a system about 53 light-years away.
TESS signals indicated the presence of a planet orbiting about 80% of the solar mass, and researchers confirmed the discovery using the Planet Finder Spectrograph telescope on the Magellan II telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Carnegie, Chile.
The new planet is called HD 21749b, a planet outside the solar system. Its mass is less than Neptune and Uranus.
It follows a orbit of approximately 36 days, giving it the longest period of a planet TESS has so far, with a mass of about 23 times the Earth’s mass.
Unlike the Earth, the newly discovered planet is not a rocky and its surface will be cooler.
According to the team, the planet is surrounded by other planets revolving around its host star for about eight days.
Measuring the tiny mass and composition of this small planet will be a challenge, and more important to comparing the HD 21749c to Earth, and scientists say this is likely to be the first of many Earth-sized planets that TESS will discover during its surveys.