"Here, we report on the discovery of a transiting planet around [Pi Mensae], exactly the type of planet TESS was designed to detect," states a portion of the paper available to the public.

Scientists say the planet is roughly twice the diameter of Earth but about four times as massive. Findings for Pi Mensae c indicate it may contain helium, methane, hydrogen, and water but is deemed unlikely to support life because it is so close to its star.

TESS, which launched last April, created the light image over the course of 30 minutes on August 7, using four optical telescopes to photograph a small portion of the night sky. Its mission is slated to last two years and reports anticipate it could discover thousands of exoplanets.

This week in an unrelated project, researchers from the University of Florida spotted a planet circling a star named 40 Eriadni A (HD 26965). In the fictional universe of Star Trek, this star system is the home of the Vulcans like Mr. Spock. The exoplanet, officially called HD 26965b, has been nicknamed "Vulcan" after this fictional planet.

 
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