NASA's new exoplanet hunting telescope has uncovered its smallest planet yet: a world between Earth's dimensions and its smaller sister Mars.
The planet is called L 98-59b because it lies in a nearby star system called L 98-59, which is 35 light-years from our solar system in the southern constellation of Volan. L 98-59b is not the smallest ever discovered exoplanet – this record belongs to a tiny rock called Kepler-37b, which is only one fifth larger than the Earth's Moon. But NASA's more advanced NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), replacing the old Kepler telescope, is the smallest planet NASA has ever seen.
L 98-59b is one of three planets that were discovered in the US system and reports in an article that was published today (June 27) in the Astronomical Journal. The other two are 1.4 and 1.6 times as wide as Earth.
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