back to article Pack your bags! NASA's latest exoplanet hunter satellite finds its first Earth-sized world in a habitable zone – and it's only 100 light years away

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has stumbled across its first Earth-sized planet that lies within the habitable zone of a star. That means that the otherworldly object known as TOI 700 d ticks two boxes. The first being that its size is similar to Earth, which suggests that it has a solid, rocky surface. …

  1. IceC0ld

    What a rush

    It completes an orbit every 37 days

    think I'll stay here thanks, bit too much like a roller coaster for me :o)

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

      Re: What a rush

      I thought I felt old already! If I lived there I'd be 390!

      There is a planet who's ecology would be entirely decimated by the greetings card industry.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: What a rush

        Brings a whole new meaning to being a Millennial !

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a rush

      Not like you would notice, since it is tidally locked to its star there would be no day/night nor any seasons.

  2. Joe W Silver badge

    Let's follow the ideas as described by Alastair Reynolds in Chasm City (well, the ship wossisname was on... the guy whom they had crucified, Sky Something-or-Other)

    1. CliveS

      Schuyler "Sky" Haussmann aka "H" from Redemption Ark? It was a stand-in who was crucified on Sky's Edge rather than Haussmann himself.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    The only problem with TOI 700 d....

    Is all the damned space vampires.

  4. Winkypop Silver badge

    TOI 700 d citizens, having realised they've been rumbled... working on solar system relocation technology.

  5. Bunker_MonkeyUK

    Mines the one.....

    with the keys to the Millenium Falcon in the pocket.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How many planets?

    > TOI 700 d is the third outermost planet to orbit star TOI 700

    Third outermost, so there are two planets further out?

    > ... The first innermost planet

    Redundant adjective is redundant?

    > ... The second middle planet

    Second middle? How many planets are in the middle?

    Commas are important.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How many planets?

      Yes, presumably someone hasn't read 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves'...

      1. Swarthy

        Re: How many planets?

        "Let's eat Grandma!" vs. "Let's eat, Grandma!"

        1. Scroticus Canis

          Re: How many planets?

          Now your just pandering on.

          1. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

            Re: How many planets?


  7. Rich 11 Silver badge


    It’s also unknown if TOI 700 d’s tidal locking might negatively impact the chances of its habitability.

    It means that the most probable habitable region is going to be somewhere around the terminator*, depending upon the planet's axial tilt. That region will have the most moderated temperature over the course of the 37-day year (although that average temperature will still depend upon how close to the inner or outer edge of the habitable zone the planet lies -- assuming it doesn't have a strongly elliptical orbit). The tidal-locking also suggests that the planet may not still have a spinning core, which means a greater probability of a magnetosphere incapable of shielding against solar flux (although red dwarfs emit fewer and less-energetic particles than does Earth's sun). Definitely lots of questions still left to answer.

    *Not that terminator.

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: Atmo

      The other issue would probably be the hurricane force winds that would be experienced at the terminator. I believe they would be blowing from the dark side as the colder air would be much denser.

      So the t-shirts should actually say - Come to the Dark Side. We have wind!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Atmo

      > assuming it doesn't have a strongly elliptical orbit

      I'm not sure that's possible when tidally locked - the planet would have to a variable rate of rotation i.e. slowing down when farther away and speeding up when closer in. It would need to be a pretty powerful source of energy to do that to an earth-sized planet over a 30 day period.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Atmo

        Good point. If the tidal forces were that strong then the planet's surface would be subject to constant earthquakes, although they would actually be less intense at the terminator.

        It just goes to show how difficult it could be to find a habitable planet, at least for a species that's evolved on a planet of one particular type.

    3. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Atmo

      "The tidal-locking also suggests that the planet may not still have a spinning core."

      The opposite's the case. If you're phase locked, then your core gets tidally heated. So there should be enough energy to keep the dynamo ticking over. That's why Mercury (3:2 resonance) has a magnetic field. It's likely TOI 7000 d does as well.

      It's the atmospheric effects that will be the killer.

  8. Flak

    Let's drop by for an afternoon visit...

    I am sure Elon Musk will get there first!

  9. karlkarl Silver badge

    Since there is obviously intelligent life on it and it is 1,300 light years away we can already predict what we would be seeing on the planets surface if our telescopes could "enhance" the image enough.

    Basically we would be seeing the aliens deal with a bunch of Christian stuff. Bit boring really.

  10. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Lack of liquid water

    Within a few million years of the planet becoming tidally locked, all the moisture would be locked up in a permanent icecap on the dark side of the planet. The light side of the planet would be drier than the Atacama desert in Chile.

    The lack of water vapor in the atmosphere would lead to the dark side being even colder as water vapor is a major greenhouse gas.

    Not habitable - even the area around the terminator would be totally lacking in water.

  11. Kennelly

    Wouldn't want to be 99 light years distant from Earth when they again "correct TOI 700's parameters" and realise that, yeah, actually it is as hot as we first thought, you better come back

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