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NASA discovers new planet

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NASA’s new exoplanet-hunting telescope has discovered its smallest planet yet: a world somewhere between the sizes of Earth and its smaller sister Mars.

The planet is called L 98-59b because it sits in a nearby star system called L 98-59 that’s 35 light-years from our solar system in the southern constellation Volans. L 98-59b is not the smallest exoplanet ever discovered — that record belongs to a tiny rock called Kepler-37b, which is just one-fifth larger than Earth’s moon.

NASA discovers new planet

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But ever since NASA’s more advanced Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) space telescope came online, replacing the old Kepler telescope, this is the smallest planet NASA has managed to see.

L 98-59b is one of three planets discovered in the system and reported in a paper published today (June 27) in The Astronomical Journal. The other two are 1.4 and 1.6 times the width of Earth.

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