NASA's Planet Hunter Satellite Finds 66 New Planets Outside Our Solar System, 2,000 More 'Candidates' Yet To Be Confirmed
During its two-year-long primary mission, NASA’s planet hunter TESS has found 66 new exoplanets, or worlds beyond our solar system, as well as nearly 2,100 candidates astronomers are working to confirm, the US space agency has said.
TESS, short for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, scanned about 75 per cent of the starry sky during its primary mission that ended on 4 July, NASA said on Tuesday.
“TESS is producing a torrent of high-quality observations providing valuable data across a wide range of science topics,” said Patricia Boyd, the project scientist for TESS at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
“As it enters its extended mission, TESS is already a roaring success.”
TESS monitors 24-by-96-degree strips of the sky called sectors for about a month using its four cameras.
The mission spent its first year observing 13 sectors comprising the southern sky and then spent another year imaging the northern sky.
Now in its extended mission, TESS has turned around to resume surveying the south, NASA said.
The extended mission for TESS will be completed in September 2022.
After spending a year imaging the southern sky, TESS will take another 15 months to collect additional observations in the north and to survey areas along the ecliptic — the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun — that the satellite has not yet imaged.
Among the mission’s newest planetary discoveries are its first Earth-size world, named TOI 700 d, which is located in the habitable zone of its star, the range of distances where conditions could be just right to allow liquid water on the surface.
TESS revealed a newly minted planet around the young star AU Microscopii and found a Neptune-size world orbiting two suns.
In addition to its planetary discoveries, TESS has observed the outburst of a comet in our solar system, as well as numerous exploding stars.
Even more remarkable, TESS watched as a black hole in a distant galaxy shredded a Sun-like star, NASA said.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.