The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which is created to hunt for alien worlds around stars not too far from the sun, began gathering science data Wednesday (July 25), members of the instrument team announced yesterday (July 27). Once the first dataset has been received, TESS scientists will begin combing through the information to identify any signs of new planets.
TESS is the latest weapon in NASA's arsenal that is built specifically to search for planets outside of our own Solar System, and it's an incredibly powerful device. The space agency plans for this mission to last two years, during which time it will likely find thousands of new planets. These events suggest that a planet may be passing in front of a star and are called transits.
However, Space.com notes that Kepler was only able to observe a limited patch of sky during its missions. These transit cause minute, periodic dips in brightness of the stars that the cameras on TESS will detect.
"Now we are well aware that the planets in the Universe is more than stars, and I look forward to the opening of the extremely freakish and just plain weird worlds", said Paul Hertz (Paul Hertz), the head of the Astrophysics division of NASA.
NASA's new planet hunting satellite is getting to work. TESS will be transmitting the scientific data that it will be collecting back to Earth somewhere in August.
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TESS is expected to transmit its first series of science data back to Earth in August, and thereafter every 13.5 days, once per orbit, as the spacecraft makes it closest approach to Earth.
According to the Agency, TESS has four telescopes with matrices a resolution of 16.8 megapixels, operating in the spectral range from 600 to 1000 nanometers. TESS will watch each observation sector for about 27 days before rotating to the next.
The TESS NASA mission is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is being managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "Now that we know there are more planets than stars in our universe, I look forward to the odd, fantastic worlds we're bound to discover".
Space telescope found the exoplanet candidates will also be studied using ground-based telescopes and space-based James Webb telescope to replace Hubble.
"TESS will search 85 percent of our sky for exoplanets orbiting bright stars and our nearest stellar neighbors", Martin Still, NASA headquarters program scientist for TESS, told Newsweek. A new telescope developed by mit and NASA, was launched into space on 19 April 2018.