Space hunter: Scientists pin alien exoplanet hopes to NASA's latest sky scanner

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As days are going by, new things in the space exploration are being discovered.

TESS's mission is to monitor and catalogue over 200,000 stars in space for signs of other existing planets.

Lori Glaze, the Present head of this Planetary Geophysics, Geology and Geochemistry Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will become acting director of this Planetary Sciences Division when his newest function is assumed by Green, agency officials said. The targets TESS finds are going to be fantastic subjects for research for decades to come.

While the first confirmed detection of exoplanets outside our solar system was not until 1992, NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has now detected 2,300 of these planets. It really has a chance to find a rocky planet that's the right distance from its star, the right temperature to have life on its surface.

However, don't expect us to find another Earth overnight.

The TESS satellite will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and will hunt for new exoplanets to determine if they could harbor life.

TESS will take the torch that Kepler lit and run with it.

NASA's Kepler spacecraft used the same method to spot more than 2,600 confirmed exoplanets, a lot of them orbiting faint stars 300 to 3,000 light-years away.

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SpaceX’s Valuation Takes Off Once Again
Companies SpaceX’s Valuation Takes Off Once Again

Once blasted into space, it will eventually sit in a special orbit (red) that goes out to 250,000 kilometres then sweeps back to within 100,000 kilometres of Earth.

TESS will wait for the regular drops in brightness caused by a planet crossing in front of its stellar host and blocking a tiny amount of starlight. But when you think about the sheer number of stars in the sky - and by the way, planets outnumber them - it's not so insane. "TESS will cast a wider net than ever before for enigmatic worlds". And because the stars are so dim, their habitable zones are much more compact, which means TESS could witness multiple transits within each of its 27-day observing periods.

It's called the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS for short.

The space-based telescope could also study all kinds of other celestial phenomena, including supernovas, flare stars and active galaxies.

Because of those tight observing windows, the spacecraft won't be able to pick up planets with longer Earth-sized orbits, as Kepler could.

TESS will spend around two years, surveying some 200000 of the brightest stars near the Sun in search of planets.

With the help of a gravitational assist from the Moon, the spacecraft will settle into a 13.7-day orbit around Earth, NASA said in an earlier statement. The first year of observations will map the 13 sectors encompassing the southern sky, and the second year will map the 13 sectors of the northern sky.

"TESS is going to essentially provide the catalog, like the phone book, if you will, of all the best planets for following up, for looking at their atmospheres and studying more about them."

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