Science

NASA's New Satellite Will Search For Undiscovered Exoplanets

NASA's New Satellite Will Search For Undiscovered Exoplanets

What was once considered science fiction, has now become science fact. So far they've been elusive, but on Monday NASA is deploying its next tool in the hunt for exoplanets.

TESS will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, as long as the weather is "favourable", on board at SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. NASA predicted that the TESS will be covering about 200,000 exoplanets which are present outside of our solar system which includes more than 50 Earth-size planets and about 500 planets which care less than twice the size of the Earth.

"TESS is going to look for planets around other stars by watching the slight dip in brightness of the star as the planet passes in front of it", explained Paul Hertz, director, Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington.




Over the next two years, TESS will survey the sky, breaking it into 26 sections, each 24 degrees by 96 degrees across, specficially looking for exoplanets that periodically block part of the light from their host stars. The satellite will observe the Southern hemisphere in the first year and the Northern in the second.

TESS is expected to search the stars that can be 30-100 times brighter and 10 times closer than the stars that Kepler has found.

Earth might have thousands of neighbors just waiting to be found. The objective of the Kepler mission was to explore, how frequently planets occur around the stars.


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