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Thread: NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

  1. #1
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    NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    Could not find a thread dedicated to TESS.

    TESS has taken its 1st picture and discovered a exoplanet

    http://www.americaspace.com/2018/09/...rst-exoplanet/

    NASA’s newest planet-hunting spacecraft, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), has just returned its first science image of the mission – ushering in a new era of exoplanet study and the search for other habitable worlds. This “first light” image is a detailed picture of the southern sky taken with all four of the spacecraft’s wide-field cameras, and shows a wide range of stars and other objects, including star systems that were already known to have exoplanets. It has also discovered its first new exoplanet!


    “In a sea of stars brimming with new worlds, TESS is casting a wide net and will haul in a bounty of promising planets for further study,” said Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This first light science image shows the capabilities of TESS’ cameras, and shows that the mission will realize its incredible potential in our search for another Earth.”

    The science image was taken on Aug. 7, 2018, over a 30-minute period. All four cameras were used to complete the full image, which includes portions of a dozen constellations, from Capricornus to Pictor, as well as both the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. The image doesn’t show any planets themselves of course, since it is more of a sky-wide survey and not focused on any particular star, but it does provide a visual overview of regions of the sky that the telescope will study in-depth in its search for more exoplanets.
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  2. #2
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    Sadly, americaspace.com is having Web server problems at the moment, returning "forbidden" and 404 errors.
    Selden

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    NASA's press release about TESS's first light science image is available at https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard...ind-new-worlds

    It includes Paul Hertz' statement, but doesn't seem to mention having detected a new transit, although I might have overlooked it.
    Selden

  4. #4
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    NASA_TESS (@NASA_TESS) | Twitter -- announcements of TESS's first two candidate exoplanets.

    The first one orbits [wiki]Pi Mensae[/wiki], a very Sunlike star some 60 light-years / 18 parsecs away, a star already known to have a planet.
    [1809.05967] TESS Discovery of a Transiting Super-Earth in the $\Pi$ Mensae System
    [1809.07573] TESS's first planet: a super-Earth transiting the naked-eye star $\pi$ Mensae

    Pi Mensae is already known to have a super-Jovian planet, a planet with at least 10 Jupiter masses, though likely Jupiter-sized. It orbits with a period of 5.89 (Earth years), and has a mean distance of 3.4 AU and an eccentricity of 0.64, giving a distance range of 1.2 to 5.5 AU.

    This most recent planet was confirmed by radial-velocity measurements, and it has a distance of 0.068 AU, a period of 6.27 (Earth) days, a mass of 4.8 Earth masses and a radius of 2.1 Earth radii. Its average density is nearly 3 g/cm^3, about what one would expect from an all-water planet with its mass. Since that planet likely has rock and iron in it, it would thus have to have a thick layer of hydrogen and helium, much as Uranus and Neptune do.

    This planet's equilibrium surface temperature is around 1100 C, hot enough to glow in visible light.


    The second one orbits red dwarf LHS 3844 about 50 light years / 15 parsecs away.
    [1809.07242] TESS Discovery of an ultra-short-period planet around the nearby M dwarf LHS 3844
    The planet has radius 1.32 Earth radii and it orbits its star once every 11 hours. It orbits at distance 0.0062 AU and it has an equilibrium temperature of 800 K.

    The planet thus orbits at 1.3 solar radii, while its star's radius is 0.19 solar radii. So that star would be about 17 degrees of arc in the sky.

  5. #5
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    TESS celebrates its 1st birthday.

    https://www.americaspace.com/2019/07...lanet-hunting/

    NASA’s TESS mission (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) has now completed the first year of its search for exoplanets and has already racked up some great discoveries, it was announced on July 25, 2019. The space telescope has also been watching other celestial phenomena such as comets and supernovae, although exoplanets are its primary focus.

    During the first year, TESS focused on the southern hemisphere, but will now shift its observations to the northern hemisphere. TESS first turned its cameras to the north on July 18. When that survey is complete, it will be the most comprehensive survey of its kind ever done.
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    "Halfway through all-sky survey, NASA’s planet-hunting TESS mission gets extension"

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/08/0...-an-extension/

    NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, fresh off a two-year extension to keep operating through 2022, has turned its cameras to image the northern sky after cataloguing nearly 1,000 candidate planets around other stars in the first year of its mission.

    The TESS mission reached the halfway point of its original two-year prime mission July 18, when the observatory finished its first complete survey of the southern sky. A day earlier, NASA formally approved the extension of TESS’s science observations from 2020 through 2022, allowing the satellite to continue searching for planets, while bringing on additional scientists to analyze data.
    I am because we are
    (African saying)

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