TESS completes first 12 months of operation; begins mapping northern sky – Astronomy Now

July 28, 2019 - Comment

An artist’s impression of L 98-59b, the smallest exoplanet but discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite tv for pc. Picture: Goddard Area Flight Middle/Ravyn Cullor NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite tv for pc – TESS — has accomplished its first 12 months of operation, mapping the souther sky in overlapping strips, discovering 21 confirmed



An artist’s impression of L 98-59b, the smallest exoplanet but discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite tv for pc. Picture: Goddard Area Flight Middle/Ravyn Cullor

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite tv for pc – TESS — has accomplished its first 12 months of operation, mapping the souther sky in overlapping strips, discovering 21 confirmed exoplanets, 850 candidates awaiting affirmation, and quite a lot of supernovae, asteroids and different phenomena.

“The tempo and productiveness of TESS in its first 12 months of operations has far exceeded our most optimistic hopes for the mission,” George Ricker, TESS’s principal investigator, mentioned in a press release. “Along with discovering a various set of exoplanets, TESS has found a treasure trove of astrophysical phenomena, together with 1000’s of violently variable stellar objects.”

Just like the Kepler spacecraft that preceded it, TESS was designed to seek for exoplanets by on the lookout for slight modifications in a star’s gentle as a number of planets transfer in entrance as seen from Earth. However not like Kepler, TESS is concentrated on stars nearer to the Solar, throughout all the sky, in the hunt for comparatively close by Earth-like worlds.

“Kepler found the wonderful consequence that, on common, each star system has a planet or planets round it,” mentioned TESS Challenge Scientist Padi Boyd. “TESS takes the following step. If planets are in all places, let’s discover these orbiting shiny, close by stars as a result of they’ll be those we are able to now comply with up with present floor and space-based telescopes, and the following technology of devices for many years to come back.”

On 18 July, TESS finishing its southern sky survey and mapping of the northern sky started. When the preliminary survey is accomplished subsequent 12 months, the spacecraft could have mapped three quarters of the sky utilizing 4 cameras that monitor 24-by-96-degree strips for 27 days at a time.

“The staff is at present centered on discovering the most effective (exoplanet) candidates to verify by ground-based follow-up,” mentioned Natalia Guerrero, who manages the search at MIT. “However there are various extra potential exoplanet candidates within the knowledge but to be analyzed, so we’re actually simply seeing the tip of the iceberg right here. TESS has solely scratched the floor.”



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