NASA's TESS Spacecraft Begins Hunting Exoplanets
Are you a big fan of space and the exploration of it? This will be the perfect video for you if you love keeping up with everything space related! Space exploration is such a fascinating study, there is so much out there that we do not know about. There is a lot of undiscovered planets, solar systems, and galaxies that we do not even know about! In fact, we have only discovered about 4% of the visible universe, that leaves so much more to discover. Also, this is just discovered, we haven’t actually been to all the places we have discovered and have not been able to explore it further.
As science and technology continue to improve, we are finding new ways to discover the universe. NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is responsible for aeronautics and aerospace research. This video discusses their new TESS spacecraft! TESS is actually a planet hunting satellite and actually stands for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. Recently this summer, it began searching the universe and stars for exoplanets. An exoplanet is a planet that is outside the Sun’s solar system and orbits another star. These exoplanets can have many different features, big giant gas planets bigger than Jupiter, rocky planets such as earth, boiling hot planets, freezing cold, planets that orbit 2 suns, and even ones whose year last only 2 days!
The possibilities are endless and since they aren’t in our solar system, we as regular citizens do not know too much about them. Actually, every star you see on a clear night could actually play host to a planet! In fact, our nearest neighboring star was found to posses one rocky planet. Unfortunately, it is nearly 25 trillion miles away and with no way to travel that distance it hasn’t been explored! TESS is continuing the search for exoplanets in the place of the Kepler spacecraft which found more than 2000 exoplanets! Sounds like the TESS has its work cut out for it if it wants to be as useful as the Kepler!
TESS’s main focus are the closer stars that are much brighter. Since the focus will be on closer stars and exoplanets, scientists can research these more efficiently. The farther and more distant stars are harder to research because of the lack of information and data on them. With this new focus on closer stars, these scientists can gather more useful information!
TESS’s mission will last more than 2 years and hopefully is expected to find more than 1500 exoplanets! That is some pretty good numbers for a 2-year mission! It actually launched in April of 2018 as a test to see how well it did. It sent back its first image in a month and they decided to fully send it off for its 2-year mission a couple months later! NASA has been working extremely hard on their research and it is very amazing seeing their research in action. This video will be sure to inform you on their new mission and hopefully we will hear about the amazing results in 2 years’ time!