Could There Be Life On The First Earth-Sized, Habitable Zone Planet Found By NASA’s TESS?
“Appearing in 11 independently viewed TESS sectors, TOI 700 possesses at least 3 planets orbiting it. Although TOI 700 is an M-class red dwarf, it exhibits no flaring, benefitting potential lifeforms. The third planet from the star — TOI 700d — is only 19% larger than Earth, receiving 86% of the incident energy on Earth. Even though the planet is likely to be tidally locked, with the same face always towards its star, it’s still potentially habitable. Everything depends on the composition of the atmosphere and how energy flows around the world.”
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, TESS, has been scanning the sky in various chunks for more than a year now, with its greatest coverage in the polar regions of the sky. In the south pole, about 100 light-years away, the M-class star TOI 700 resides. TESS observations have revealed three exoplanets around it, where the outermost one, TOI 700d, is both Earth-sized and in the right zone to have liquid water on its surface, if its atmosphere is just right.