The mission of the TESS planet hunter completes the main mission

On July 4th, the space observatory Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) NASA has completed its main mission and photographed around 75% of the starry sky as part of a two-year study. While capturing this huge mosaic, TESS found 66 new ones Exoplanetsor worlds beyond our solar system as well as around 2,100 candidates that astronomers are working to confirm.

“”Tess produces a flood of high quality observations that provide valuable data on a variety of scientific topics, “said Patricia Boyd, senior scientist for the TESS program at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.” TESS is already a complete success. “

With its four cameras, TESS monitors 24-by-96-degree swaths of the sky, known as sectors, for a month. The mission spent its first year observing 13 sectors spanning the southern sky and then spent another year taking pictures of the northern sky.

Already in his extended missionTESS has turned around to continue studying the south. In addition, the TESS team has improved the way the satellite collects and processes data. The cameras now capture a full picture every 10 minutes, three times faster than during the main mission. The new fast mode enables the measurement of the brightness of thousands of stars every 20 seconds, as well as the previous method of capturing these observations of tens of thousands of stars every two minutes. With faster measurements, TESS can better resolve the changes in brightness caused by it Star vibrations and capture the explosive flares from active stars.

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Illustration of the TESS. (Photo: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

These changes will remain in effect during the expanded mission, which will be completed in September 2022. After taking pictures of the southern sky for a year, TESS will spend another 15 months collecting additional observations in the north and surveying the areas along the Ecliptic – the plane of the earth’s orbit around the sun – which the satellite has not yet photographed.

TESS is looking for Transits, the tell-tale darkening of a star that is caused when an exoplanet passes in front of it in our view. The mission’s most recent planetary discoveries include the first Earth-sized world named TOI 700d, located in the United States habitable zone of your starthe range of distances at which conditions might be appropriate to allow liquid water to rise to the surface. TESS revealed a newly formed planet around the young star AU Microscopii and found a world the size of Neptune orbiting two suns.

In addition to its planetary discoveries, TESS has observed the outbreak of a comet in our solar system as well as numerous exploding stars. The satellite discovered surprise eclipses in a well-known binary star system, solved a riddle about a class of pulsating stars, and explored a world in which it experienced stations modulated by its star. More notably, TESS observed a black hole In a distant galaxy, it shattered a sun-like star.

Missions like TESS help the area Astrobiology, interdisciplinary research on the variables and conditions of distant worlds that could support life as we know it and what form this life could take. (Source: NCYT amazement)

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