Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

SpcaeX readying to launch NASA's TESS telescope

Exoplanets The count of exoplanets is rising
Velma Reese | 17 April, 2018, 21:36

A new NASA satellite created to detect more Earth-like worlds around stars beyond our solar system is due for launch aboard a SpaceX rocket from Florida on Monday, on a quest to expand the known inventory of so-called exoplanets that might harbor life.

To boldly go where no observatory has gone before (in orbit), TESS will be hitching a lift on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and so far, the run up to the launch has been textbook. Using four wide-field cameras developed by MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, TESS will observe each one over the course of its quest.

NASA TV and SpaceX both will be live streaming the launch of the satellite.

The US space agency is about to launch a telescope that should find thousands of planets beyond our Solar System.

Ultimately, TESS' work will help pave the way toward discovering whether life exists - or could exist - on other planets.

Cameras will detect tiny dips in light as the planets cross their host stars.

"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.

Arsene Wenger Rips Premier League Over VAR Decision
They defended very well, were well organised and tried to counter quickly behind us. "It wasn't just one mistake, it was a few". After the game, Gunners goalie Petr Cech said the defeat summed up life away from the Emirates Stadium.

Some 30 to 100 times brighter than any of Kepler's targets, these stars' luster allows researchers to study the absorption and emission of light in an effort to determine a planet's mass, density, and atmospheric composition. The new Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite could give us the best chance yet at finding them. During a two-year mission, it will monitor an estimated 200,000 stars, looking for temporary decreases in brightness that indicate the transit of a planet.

After the launching of this satellite, TESS will use all its fuel to get to the Earth's orbit and then gravity from the Moon will do its job.

The Kepler mission has already uncovered 2,300 new exoplanets confirmed by other telescopes. The space telescope, whose launch is planned in 2020, will be studying so-called transitions - moments when planets pass "in front" of their suns (with respect to the telescope). According to NASA, TESS will be able to discover 20,000 exoplanets, about fifty of the size of the Earth and almost 500 which would be twice as large as our planet. "Now TESS will open our eyes to the variety of planets around some of the closest stars".

"We might even find planets that orbit stars that we can even see with the naked eye", she added.

"There need to be things that inspire you, that make you glad to wake up in the morning and be part of humanity", Musk said in March.

The wildly successful Kepler Space Telescope was created to observe faint stars, and monitor them for brief dips in brightness that would indicate the passage of an object-most commonly a planet.

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