Newly discovered Earth-size planet TOI 700 e orbits within the habitable zone of its star in this illustration. Its Earth-size sibling TOI 700 d can be seen in the distance.  Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Robert Hurt

NASA’s planet-hunting telescope, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), has discovered a second Earth-size planet within the habitable zone of a nearby star.

Named TOI 700 e, the planet is one of four known planets orbiting a cool star approximately 100 light-years away. The system was already known to host one planet, called TOI 700 d, in the habitable zone, but recent research that will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters reveals it is joined by another planet inside its orbit. The other two planets in the system, TOI 700 b and TOI 700 c, orbit closer to the star and, as such, are likely to have higher temperatures, putting them outside of the habitable zone.

The new planet “is nestled in there between planets…

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