Utilizing a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, NASA prepares to launch the next great planet hunter for exoplanet discovery. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, simply known as TESS, launches into space on April 16, 2018. It’s mission: find and track down exoplanet candidates.
Expecting to uncover thousands of planets, around 300 estimated Earth-sized or super-earth sized planets among them, TESS will observe 200,000 bright stars using the Transit Method, which will allow astronomers to confirm exoplanet candidates and to determine their likely composition (rocky like Earth, gas like Jupiter, etc.). This capability paves the way for future, more direct and comprehensive research on promising regions in Space, with the addition of upcoming game changing contraptions.
See also: NASA’s JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE
By breaking up the entire sky into 26 regions (each 24 x 96 degrees apart), mounted cameras aimed at 27 day increments observe the brightest stars with an even 2 minute cadence.
TESS represents a new generation of observatory. When compared to its predecessors, one might truly understand the scope of what the spacecraft is capable of. TESS has the ability to study stars 100 times brighter than those of the Kepler mission. TESS’s view is more massive than Kepler, at about 400 times in size. That’s a ton of sky being constantly photographed by some of the most powerful cameras ever assembled. All in the name of finding a new world in the stars.
Aside from seeking exoplanets, TESS will allow scientists in the greater community additional research on over 20,000 additional objects, brought to you by the Guest Investigator program.
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched on April 18, 2018 into Earth’s orbit mounted on a SpaceX Falcon Rocket to monitor and detect nearby exoplanets within our solar neighborhood with highly detailed characterizations of discovered planets and their atmospheres.