The Absolute Cosmos: Exoplanet hunter TESS discovers two new warm extrasolar planets

The exoplanets are in orbits around inactive M dwarf stars and have been named TOI 122b and TOI 137b.

TOI 122b is about 2.7 times larger than our home planet Earth, while TOI 137b is 1.4 times larger.

TESS is a space telescope designed by NASA to hunt for exoplanets using transit method. It was launched in April 2018. On July 4, 2020 TESS’s primary mission was over, yet the telescope still operates in extended mission phase.

As of now TESS has identified almost 2,200 exoplanet candidates, of which sixty seven exoplanets have been confirmed by scientists.

From July to September 2018, while observing two stars called TOI 122 and TOI 237, telescope detected transit signals in the light curve of these stars. Further, scientists confirmed the planetary nature of these detection by using follow up ground based observations.

TOI 122 and its exoplanet is located at some two hundred and six light years away from us. TOI 122b has a radius of about 2.72 Earth radii and it is a sub Neptune sized exoplanet. It is approximately 8.8 times more massive than our home planet.

TOI 122b lies approx. 0.04 Astronomical Units from its parent star and completes its one orbit around it in 5.08 days.

The exoplanet has an equilibrium temperature at a level of about 158 degrees Celsius, whereas the host star has an effective temperature of about 3,127 degrees Celsius.

TOI 237b is a super Earth sized exoplanet and lies at a distance of about one hundred and twenty four light years from our Sun. The exoplanet is about forty four times larger and three times more massive than Earth.

TOI 237b lies at a distance of about 0.03 Astronomical Units from its parent star and completes its one orbit around it in every 5.44 days. The equilibrium temperature of this exoplanet is about 82 degrees Celsius.

Read more: TOI 122b and TOI 237b, two small warm planets orbiting inactive M dwarfs, found by \textit{TESS}

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