New NASA telescope designed specifically to search for exoplanets, is set to launch on Monday. April 16, Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), riding on the Falcon 9 rocket, went to conquer the earth orbit. Read more about what is TESS, we are told here.
TESS will pick up the mission’s space telescope Kepler, which should be completed by the end of this year. “Kepler” has found more than 5,000 exoplanet candidates and confirmed about half of them. TESS will be able to explore in the 350 times larger area of sky than Kepler and you will find about 20,000 exoplanets in the first two years of operation.
Will require about two months after launch to place a satellite into orbit is halfway from the Earth to the moon and to test its camera. “After that, will flow the flow of information,” says principal investigator of the mission is George Ricker of the Massachusetts Institute of technology.
TESS will be using the same transit method used by Kepler to search for planets. The telescope observes the star in search of dips in its light, they mean that between a star and a telescope is the planet. The frequency of failures indicates how fast the planet goes around its star, and the amount of light blocked tells about the size of a distant body.
In contrast to the “Kepler”, which studied distant stars in a small region of the sky, TESS will examine the stars closer, but 85% of the sky space. The telescope is optimized for observations of small and cooler stars emitting mostly red light.
“90% of stars in the milky Way emit light in the red wavelengths, and such, apparently, at hand more planets than stars like the Sun,” says Ricker. “Nature seems to say: look here, look here, and actually that’s what we’ll do.”
Because of their proximity to these stars are the ideal objects to space telescope James Webb, which will be launched in 2020. He’ll search for signs of life in the atmospheres of exoplanets.