Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

NASA launched TESS, new planet-hunter to search Earth-like worlds

NASA launched TESS, new planet-hunter to search Earth-like worlds

NASA says it expects to find over 3,000 candidates, "ranging from gas giants to small rocky planets", with roughly 500 "to be similar to Earth's size".

TESS is an acronym for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and the mission is set to catalogue thousands of planets outside of our solar system, known as exoplanets.

This optimism is based on the prediction by meteorologists with the US Air Force 45th Space Wing who said there is an 80 per cent chance of favorable weather for SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket's launch on Monday at 6.32 pm atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The main aim of the TESS is to search the nearer, brighter stars that have an Earth-like atmosphere.


The satellite will figure out "the most promising exoplanets orbiting relatively nearby stars", providing future researchers with an exhaustive set of new targets for more follow-up studies, including the potential to determine "their capacity to harbor life", the United States space agency said. The objective of the Kepler mission was to explore, how frequently planets occur around the stars. TESS is also created to search planets that are orbiting nearby stars which are spread across the sky.

The satellite is continuing the mission of the Kepler spacecraft, which found more than 2,000 new exoplanets.

During this time, TESS will study and document 200,000 of the brightest stars near the sun to search for any transiting exoplanets.


Over the next two years, TESS will survey the sky, breaking it into 26 sections, each 24 degrees by 96 degrees across, specficially looking for exoplanets that periodically block part of the light from their host stars.

According to the Elisha Quintana, who is the scientist at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center told on Sunday that " They are going to be orbiting the nearest brightest stars".


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