NASA's New Satellite Will Search For Undiscovered Exoplanets

Sea ice in the Arctic as seen from ATom’s DC-8 in January 2017. Credits NASA  Róisín Commane

Sea ice in the Arctic as seen from ATom’s DC-8 in January 2017. Credits NASA Róisín Commane

NASA's Kepler space telescope was launched during the year in 2009.

Previous generations have looked up at the stars in the night sky and wondered whether they are also orbited by planets.

"It's changed our view of planets, it's changed our view of our solar system and how common exoplanets are out there", Brad Tucker of the Australian National University said. NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has detected more than 2,300 confirmed planets using this method, more than any other planet-hunting observatory. ASTERIA is a collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge; where Sara Seager is the principal investigator.

TESS will monitor 200,000 bright stars in the solar neighbourhood, looking for tiny dips in their brightness that reveal a transiting planet. Guerrero said that the TESS team is working on the ways to share those findings publicly. But smaller, rocky planets block out far less light. "TESS will be able to look at 30-50 million stars in that period".

"We should be able to find 20,000 planets of all sizes ranging from Jupiter-sized planets to planets the size of Earth or even the size of Mars". The objective of the Kepler mission was to explore, how frequently planets occur around the stars. But most of the time, we can't see them.

Holding steady on a faraway star is hard because there are many things that subtly push and pull on the satellite, such as Earth's atmosphere and magnetic field. But Kepler's finds were usually around distant stars, making them harder to study.

TESS's four cameras will keep an eye out for transiting planets; scientists expect that thousands of stars should have those detectable worlds orbiting them, MIT added in the statement. The Keppler Telescope did the legwork for TESS by surveying the Milky Way Galaxy to determine how many Earthlike planets may be near us, according to NASA's website.

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That said, TESS will help fill in the gaps left by the Kepler. Schlieder explained how they will do so.

But the Holy Grail for Professor Ricker would be to discover something completely unpredictable.

Planets with short orbits are located close to their stars, meaning that most planets TESS finds will be too hot for liquid water.

By focusing on planets dozens to hundreds of light-years way, TESS may enable future breakthroughs, he said.

NASA wants to study the possibility and probability of fertilization in space and to do this, they have sent samples of human sperm for the first time ever (officially, for science) to the International Space Station (ISS) and conduct various experiments in the space lab.

It does this by analysing the brightness of transit or moving stars.

The spacecraft will be carried into orbit by SpaceX, and will ride one of the company's Falcon 9 rockets out of the atmosphere. It would sail around the Earth every 13.7 days, in an elliptical orbit. The pointing stability was repeated over multiple orbits, with the stars positioned on the same pixels on each orbit. "Now, go after them".

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