Hubble telescope measured the size of the nearest Earth-like exoplanet

The Hubble Space Telescope measured the size of the nearest known Earth-like exoplanet. It turns out that its diameter exceeds the diameter of the Earth by only 7%.

Exoplanet LTT 1445Ac in the artist’s image. Source: NASA, ESA, Leah Hustak (STScI)

The exoplanet LTT 1445Ac was discovered by the TESS mission in 2022. It is part of a system of three red dwarfs located at a distance of 22 light-years from Earth. This system has a rather complex configuration. At least three exoplanets, including LTT 1445Ac, orbit one of its stars. The other two red dwarfs have not found companions yet. 

LTT 1445Ac was found using the transit method when it passed through the disk of its star. However, until recently, astronomers were not sure about the geometry of the orbit’s plane of the exoplanet. This meant that LTT 1445Ac could only pass through a small portion of its star’s disk, which would give an inaccurate value of its diameter.

To remove all doubts about this, astronomers used Hubble. Its observations show that LTT 1445Ac makes a normal transit through the disk of the star, and its diameter is only 1.07 times the diameter of the Earth. So we are talking about a rocky world. However, the temperature of its illuminated side is about 260 °C. So LTT 1445Ac is not particularly suitable for the existence of our usual life.

In any case, Hubble’s discovery means that astronomers can continue studying LTT 1445Ac, in particular, to search for its atmosphere. The same goes for other exoplanets in this system.

Earlier we talked about how astronomers found sand clouds in the atmosphere of an exoplanet.

According to

Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time