Astronomers have discovered a new "hot Saturn" planet a whopping 60 times the size of Earth. The planet discovered by NASA's new TESS mission had special significance for scientists.

It is the first planet that has been identified by the mission in which a distant planet's "starquakes" could be measured - allowing scientists to learn even more about its character. The distant planet has reportedly been described as a "hot Saturn" in a recently-accepted scientific paper because the planet is about the same size as the ringed giant.

It is also very close to its host star, completing an orbit in just 14 days, which makes it very hot, Science Daily reports. The planet has been dubbed TOI 197.01 - Toi is short for "TESS Object of Interest".

Judging by its oscillations - or "starquakes" - it is believed to be about 5 billion years old and a little heavier than our own Sun. The scientists also reportedly believe it is a gas planet about 60 times the mass of Earth, making it roughly the size of our relatively closer neighbour Saturn.

Science Daily reports that the experts' teamwork with NASA enabled the TESS mission to discover the first planet for which its host star's starquakes can be measured. Details of the "hot Saturn" will be published in the Astronomical Journal, and will feature the work of a team of 141 astronomers.

TESS, the "Trasiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite", launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral station on April 18 2018. The spacecraft's incredible mission, led by Massachusetts Institute of Techology physicists, is to find "exoplanets" - planets beyond our own Solar System.

According to Science Daily, its four camera take nearly month-long looks at 26 vertical strips of the sky. Over two years it will scan the southern hemisphere, then the northern hemisphere - eventually scanning 85 per cent of the sjy.

TESS' mission is to find bright, nearby stars allowing astronomers to learn more about the planets from other space and ground observation points. They have a huge workload ahead of them.

According to reports in an earlier discovery, the TESS Asteroseismic Science Consortium identified a target list of sun-like oscillating stars similar to Earth's own future sun, and drew up a list of 25,000 stars.