NASA Telescope Discovers Two New Planets Five Months After Launch

23 September, 2018, 04:58 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Телескоп TESS обнаружил свою первую экзопланету

TESS can give us details like the size of the planet and how long its orbit is.

Pi Mensae c will probably go down as TESS first exoplanet discovery.

TESS captured this strip of stars and galaxies in the southern sky during one 30-min period on August 7.

"This first light science image shows the capabilities of TESS's cameras, and shows that the mission will realise its incredible potential in our search for another Earth", said Hertz.

The new images include twelve constellations, as well as the Large Magellanic Cloud and much more.

The small bright dot above the Small Magellanic Cloud is a globular cluster - a spherical collection of hundreds of thousands of stars - called NGC 104, also known as 47 Tucanae because of its location in the southern constellation Tucana, the Toucan.

Also in the image are the bright stars Beta (β) Gruis and R Doradus - so bright, in fact, that they saturate the columns around them as the light gathered by the detector fills it to capacity and spills into adjacent pixels.

Even though TESS might have caught a glimpse of a planet almost disintegrating, it will have many chances of seeing other planets for the next years.

Телескоп TESS обнаружил свою первую экзопланету

TESS's cameras monitor large swaths of the sky to look for transits. The four cameras on TESS will track distant stars to see if they briefly dim while unknown planets pass in front of them, adding to our catalog of astronomical bodies.

What lies ahead for TESS?

The data is then further processed and studied in the Science Processing and Operations Center pipeline at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California in order to hopefully locate promising exoplanet transit candidates. It's starting with the southern hemisphere before moving on to the northern half next year. There could be as many of 500 of them within 300 light years, TESS scientists say.

Scientists at MIT and NASA will take the raw data and convert it into light curves that indicate the changing brightness of a star over time.

TESS finds planets by staring at a predetermined portion of the sky (one sector) for 27 days.

"And of course, lots of exciting exoplanet and star proposals as well". Today, astronomers announce the first of what is expected to be 20,000 new exoplanets. Once the James Webb Space Telescope launches, it too will be used to follow up on TESS' targets, improving astronomers' ability to characterize the worlds TESS will find.

Kepler has offered useful information for nearly a decade and although the initial mission was planned to take 3,5 years, more than 9 years passed since the observatory started its first mission.

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