Elements S4 • E90

NASA’s Exoplanet Hunter Is Getting Us One Step Closer To Another Earth, Here’s How





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Published on Sep 12, 2019

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discovered 21 planets outside our solar system during its first year in space. How does TESS categorize a planet?
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Along with the planets TESS has discovered, the mission has identified more than 850 candidate exoplanets that are waiting for confirmation by ground-based telescopes.
The NASA satellite uses four large, specially designed cameras that are able to scan the sky for stars outside of our solar system.

TESS has been on this exoplanet-hunting mission for more than a year and has gathered unprecedented data on numerous other astrophysical phenomena including exocomets and supernovae.

Once a potential exoplanet is identified, TESS notifies astronomers on the ground to take a closer look with their telescopes to confirm.

Hopefully scientists will be able to get even closer looks at all the stuff that NASA’s TESS has scouted out for us when the James Webb Space Telescope eventually launches.

JWST could even take measurements of the compositions of these exciting planets and their atmospheres, telling scientists even more about whether these exoplanets could support life.

Learn more about all TESS has to offer and how the satellite recognizes a planet on this episode of Elements.

#NASA #TESS #Space #Seeker #Science #Elements

How Close Are We to Launching the James Webb Space Telescope?

Read More:
TESS Completes First Year of Survey, Turns to Northern Sky
"NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered 21 planets outside our solar system and captured data on other interesting events occurring in the southern sky during its first year of science."

Tiny dips in star brightnesses reveal 3 exocomets
"Astronomers have also detected some exocomets, or comets orbiting faraway stars, too. When you think of it, exocomet detections are an amazing accomplishment! In contrast to planets, which are relatively solid and thousands of miles wide, the nuclei, or cores, of comets are only a few miles wide."

Kepler vs. TESS
"TESS will survey the entire sky, looking at 400 times more stars than Kepler did throughout its lifetime. TESS will do this with four identical telescopes, which, combined, observe a 24-degree patch of sky at any one point. Each 27 days, TESS changes direction and looks for planets around a different set of stars in a new ‘sector’."


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