The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced Tuesday that its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission uncovered its first exoplanet with two stars.
“Our @NASAExoplanets mission @NASA_TESS has found its first planet with two suns, located 1,300 light-years away in the constellation Pictor,” NASA said in a Twitter post.
“A @NASAGoddard intern examined TESS data, first flagged by citizen scientists, to make this discovery,” it added.
Wolf Cukier, an intern at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, is responsible for the discovery of the exoplanet, called TOI 1338 b, NASA said.
‘Exoplanet’ is a term which refers to planets outside the solar system.
TOI 1338 b orbits its stars every 95 days, NASA said. The two stars orbit each other every 15 days.
“One is about 10% more massive than our Sun, while the other is cooler, dimmer and only one-third the Sun’s mass,” it added.
TOI 1338 b is the only known planet in the system. It is around 6.9 times larger than Earth, or between the sizes of Neptune and Saturn. The planet orbits in almost exactly the same plane as the stars, so it experiences regular stellar eclipses.