Astronomers have found that there may be two more exoplanets in the three-planetary system L98-59. One of them is potentially the smallest known to scientists.
Researchers have discovered this three-planetary system using the TESS space telescope. Using additional observations, the researchers figured out that there are likely two more planets that TESS was unable to see. One of them is potentially the smallest exoplanet discovered.
The system was named L 98-59 and has several properties that make it an excellent candidate for follow-up observations. One of the advantages is that it is quite close – only 35 light years from Earth. In addition, the system is located so that it will spend a lot of time in the field of view of the James Webb Space Telescope, if this mission successfully reaches the working orbit.
The researchers note that one of these planets, if it really exists, is about 2.5 times heavier than Earth. Astronomers assume that its surface is mainly composed of rocks. In addition, it is located at such a distance from the star that there can be liquid water on the planet. It takes the object only 23 days to complete a revolution around its sun.
Another planet, according to computer simulations, is two times lighter than Earth. If these data are confirmed by further observations, then it will become the smallest confirmed exoplanet known to scientists.