TESS Planet Hunter Launches this Month Searching Sky for New Worlds

TESS Planet Hunter Launches this Month Searching Sky for New Worlds

Tess Planet hunter is ready to launch next month on April 16. It is supposed to start up from Cape Canaveral, Florida. This planet hunter, a 700-pound spacecraft, is called the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). TESS will be on the lookout for planets that could support life, officials said Wednesday. TESS will be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and is equipped with four wide-field cameras that will enable it to look for the majority of the night sky. “TESS will search 85 percent of our sky for exoplanets orbiting bright stars and our nearest stellar neighbors,” Martin Still, NASA headquarters program scientist for TESS, told Newsweek. “It will allow us to follow up planet detections using other telescopes, such as the James Webb Space Telescope, to then better explore the properties of these planets.” Expected that TESS planet hunter is going to hunt exoplanets with the help of a transit where a planet passes in front of its star causing a periodic and regular dip in brightness. For example, NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has discovered more than 2600 confirmed exoplanets this way. “We learned from Kepler that there are more planets than stars in our sky, and now TESS will open our eyes to the variety of planets around some of the closest stars,” Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters, said in a statement. “TESS is opening a door for a whole new kind of study,” Stephen Rinehart, TESS project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt said. With word of Paul they are going to be able to study separated planets and start talking about the differences between planets. The targets TESS finds are going to be fantastic subjects for research for decades to come. It’s the beginning of a new era of exoplanet research.

Source: NASA