Earth-Sized, Potentially Habitable Planet Discovered 100 Light-Years Away

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Less than two years after starting its mission, NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, has found what may be its first habitable planet, CNN reports.

The body orbits the cool M-dwarf star TOI 700 in the Dorado constellation 100 light-years away from Earth. According to NASA, the planet, dubbed TOI 700 d, is about 20 percent larger than our own and it sits at just the right distance from its sun to support liquid water. It's one of three planets in the solar system, the others likely being an Earth-sized rocky planet and a gas planet 2.6 times the size of Earth. TOI 700 d is believed to be tidally locked, meaning only one half faces the sun at all times, and orbits there last approximately 37 Earth days.

NASA launched TESS in April 2018 with the goal of discovering planets outside our solar system, including those with the potential to host life. The satellite was built to locate Earth-sized planets orbiting neighboring stars, but this recent discovery almost went undetected. The star TOI 700 was initially thought to be as hot as our own sun, which would have made TOI 700 d uninhabitable. Upon closer inspection, researchers noticed the star was actually relatively cool and small, potentially placing TOI 700 d in the Goldilocks zone for nurturing life.

After TESS's finding was confirmed using the infrared technology of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, researchers further studied the planet by modeling its potential atmosphere and surface conditions. These computer models can give astronomers an idea of just how hospitable TOI 700 d is before future missions, such as NASA's James Webb Space Telescope launching in 2021, can collect more evidence.

TOI 700 d may be one of the closest known habitable planets to Earth, but that doesn't mean humans will be visiting it anytime soon. To put the 100 light-year distance into perspective, Mars is less than half a light-year away from Earth, and it can take seven months to get there.

[h/t CNN]

This Course Will Teach You How to Play Guitar Like a Pro for $29

BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images
BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images

Be honest: You’ve watched a YouTube video or two in an attempt to learn how to play a song on the guitar. Whether it was through tabs or simply copying whatever you saw on the screen, the fun always ends when friends start throwing out requests for songs you have no idea how to play. So how about you actually learn how to play guitar for real this time?

It’s now possible to learn guitar from home with the Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle, which is currently on sale for $29. Grab that Gibson, Fender, or whatever you have handy, and learn to strum rhythms from scratch.

The strumming course will teach you how to count beats and rests to turn your hands and fingers into the perfect accompaniment for your own voice or other musicians. Then, you can take things a step further and learn advanced jamming and soloing to riff anytime, anywhere. This course will teach you to improvise across various chords and progressions so you can jump into any jam with something original. You’ll also have the chance to dive deep into the major guitar genres of bluegrass, blues, and jazz. Lessons in jam etiquette, genre history, and how to read music will separate you from a novice player.

This bundle also includes courses in ear training so you can properly identify any relative note, interval, or pitch. That way, you can play along with any song when it comes on, or even understand how to modify it into the key you’d prefer. And when the time comes to perform, be prepared with skilled hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends, trills, vibrato, and fret-tapping. Not only will you learn the basic foundations of guitar, you’ll ultimately be able to develop your own style with the help of these lessons.

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle is discounted for a limited time. Act on this $29 offer now to work on those fingertip calluses and play like a pro.


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Where to Watch SpaceX’s Historic Astronaut Launch Live

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

SpaceX will make history today when it launches its first crewed spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 4:33 p.m. EDT. Powered by a Falcon 9 rocket, the Crew Dragon spacecraft will transport NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station, marking the company's first-ever crewed mission and the first crewed launch from the U.S. since 2011. If you want to watch the momentous event from home, there are plenty of ways to stream it live online.

Both SpaceX and NASA will be hosting livestreams of the May 27 launch. NASA's webcast kicks off at 12:15 p.m. EDT today with live looks at the Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 rocket at the Kennedy Space Center. The feed will continue streaming until late in the morning of Thursday, May 28, when the spacecraft is set to dock at the International Space Station. You can catch the coverage on NASA's website, its social media channels, or on the NASA TV channel through cable or satellite. SpaceX's stream also starts at 12:15 p.m. EDT, and it will be broadcast on the company's YouTube channel. (You can watch the video below).

Several television networks will be covering the event, with ABC and National Geographic airing "Launch America: Mission to Space Live" at 3 p.m., and Discovery and the Science Channel showing "Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space" at 2 p.m. If you're looking for more online streaming options, the American Museum of Natural History and Intrepid Museum in New York City will be hosting live events to celebrate the launch this afternoon on YouTube.

The launch has been scheduled down to the minute, but SpaceX still has time to change that depending on the weather. If today's launch doesn't happen according to plan, there are windows on May 30 and May 31 set aside for second attempts.

[h/t TechCrunch]