Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

NASA Adds New 'Planet Hunter' to its Spacecraft Fleet

NASA spacecraft aims to put mystery planets on galactic map Nasa's mission to find a new Earth (and say hi to aliens)
Doris Mccormick | 16 April, 2018, 12:41

NASA is all set to launch its new exoplanet hunter, a satellite that will stare out at the cosmos searching for never-before-seen worlds.

It's called the, 'Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, ' or TESS for short.

The hardware, setting out on a two-year mission from Cape Canaveral in Florida this Monday, is equipped with four wide angle lenses expected to survey around 85 percent of the entire sky. Ricker serves as Tess's chief scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jim Inexperienced, the highest of NASA's Planetary Science Division confirmed proper right here in 2013 on the primary anniversary of the Mars rover Curiosity's landing, will turn into NASA chief scientist beginning Would possibly 1, 2018.

Tess's cameras work by taking advantage of how red dwarfs function.

TESS will be focusing on the brightest stars in our galactic neighborhood: less than 300 light-years away and 30 to 100 times as bright as the ones Kepler was looking at. "This is really a mission for the ages".

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From there, astronomers will follow up TESS's discoveries using ground-based telescopes as well as other space telescopes such as the future James Webb Space Telescope. This satellite will cover an area 400 times larger than the Kepler Space Telescope and is scheduled to study more than 200,000 nearby stars. More than 3,700 exoplanets have been listed and an additional 4,500 are on the "strong contender" list. Kepler mostly firmed up the fraction of stars that have planets. What is the size distribution of planets like? Guerrero said that the TESS team is working on the ways to share those findings publicly. "What is this planet actually like?'" The most recent exoplanets to make headlines were the ones announced in February 2017 in the Trappist system. Once back on Earth, the samples will be unfrozen and tested to find out if the sperm cells went through the steps necessary for fusion and whether the samples were taken to space behave or are similar to samples that have undergone the exact same steps here on Earth.

That said, TESS will help fill in the gaps left by the Kepler.

"Having TESS in the fold is just fantastic", Jessie Dotson, an astrophysicist at NASA's Ames Research Center and the project scientist for the Kepler spacecraft, told The Verge.

They hope to find other Earth like planets - ones that may contain water or a rocky surface. Space telescopes like TESS and Kepler are just the start for the hunt for planets that might have signs of life.

"Thirty years ago, if you ask [ed] people, 'Do you think there are a lot of planets out there?' most people who knew anything about astronomy would say, 'Yeah, probably there are.' But nobody knew", said Shostak.

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