The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) snapped a photo using its four wide-field cameras on August 7, almost four months after it blasted off from Cape Canaveral.
NASA announced in a statement on Monday, that part of the data from TESS's initial science orbit comprises of a detailed picture of the southern sky taken with the help of all four of the wide-field cameras of the spacecraft. The Kepler telescope has done a fantastic job since launching in 2009, but with that workhorse satellite reaching the end of its life, it's time for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to take over.
This image has got details of the wealth that the stars and other objects hold and this includes those systems that were earlier known to have exoplanets. TESS is in orbit specifically to search for new worlds beyond our solar system or exoplanets. "This first light science image shows the capabilities of TESS' cameras, and shows that the mission will realise its incredible potential in our search for another Earth", Hertz said.
Capturing these pictures enable the satellite to study "transits", the duration of time when a planet passes in front of a smartly-known individual.
Ahead of its first science images, the spacecraft has been conducting tests over the last few months to verify its ability to observe a broad swath of the sky.
This swath of the skys southern hemisphere includes more than a dozen stars we know have transiting planets based on previous studies from ground observatories, said George Ricker, TESS principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologys (MIT) Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research in Cambridge.
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The image includes parts of a dozen constellations according to NASA running the gamut from Capricornus to Pictor. Such passage causes the regular drop in brightness of a star.
NASA has previously hunted for exoplanets with the Kepler space telescope, and detected thousands of them in a small part of the night sky.
Its four wide-field cameras will view the sky in 26 segments, each of which it will observe one by one. TESS will spend a year or so on the southern hemisphere and then work its way to the northern hemisphere, collecting an enormous amount of data and relaying it back to scientists on Earth.
It's the same technique used by NASA's Kepler telescope, which focused on a small patch of sky that straddled the northern constellations Lyra and Cygnus.
Tess is 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide and is shorter than most adults.
It will take Tess two weeks to circle Earth. "It will allow us to monitor the detection of planets with other telescopes such as the space telescope James Webb, then it is best to explore the properties of these planets".