TESS

Say hello to the new Exo-planet hunter

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img source : MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space

Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is going to be next exoplanet detecting satellite which is set to be  launched in 2017 by NASA as announced by them in the first week of April month. The TESS, which will be the successor to the Kepler space telescope which bound to find out the Possible planet hosting neighboring stars.

Unlike Kepler, the TESS will find out most closest planet bearing stars. Until now the Kepler has been staring  3000 light years into the space in the direction of Cygnus constellation and it’s telescope’s detectors were programmed to target 150,000 possible planet hosting stars in that grid. So far it has discovered almost 22,500  possible planets in which most of them are found to be huge gas giants like Jupiter and some of them are super earths, Whose size is 2.5 times to 5 times the earth size and found to be terrestrial planets are not habitable planets of living organism to exist. Although approximately 51 earth-like planets has been found in the same grid. The first potentially habitable planet Kepler-22b was discovered in Dec 2011. It’s sensors are designed to measure the light blocked by a planet revolving around a star. By measuring the drop in the starlight the size of the planet can be found.

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img Source : Wikipedia

The main disadvantage of the method is that we can’t measure the light dip when a earth size planets crosses a host star. The light variation will bee very small so that a sensor can detect it.

The Kepler mission is almost at it’s end, although NASA is trying to revive it’s full functionality, the hopes are very much slim. Next mission will be the TESS space telescope for detecting the nearest earth-like exoplanets within 6.5 light years in the vicinity of our solar system. It will be helpful for closely studying the exoplanets for it’s atmosphere composition, temperature and other vital parameters which are very important for the existence of life forms.

An Astrophysicist and a Kepler team member Natalie Bataha said that the early results from the Kepler indicated that the TESS won’t have to look very far to a world potentially like ours. So we may expect exciting discoveries after the mission is implemented. Its also uses the same transiting planet technique as Kepler, but unlike Kepler it scans the entire sky by using an array of wide-field cameras to scan roughly two million of the brightest and closest stars in our galactic vicinity. The main objective of this mission will be to find the closest earth-like habitable planets where liquid water can exist and life can flourish. The team hopes that TESS will find up to 1000 exoplanets in its first two years of deployment.

One thing for sure, ” there will be other organic lifeforms exist in other exoplanets and it’s discovery will not take much longer from now “……….

So what’s your say in this…………..

please feel free to leave comments, ask doubts and share your ideas……….

4 thoughts on “Say hello to the new Exo-planet hunter”

  1. what can be the result if compared to HUBBLE…as far as another human like habitable planet concerned..it may be exactly same as our earth..or no planet like earth..coz..this secret is hidden in the hands of our creator..but science is trying..hope

    1. Hubble is a reflective type deep space telescope used for viewing and exploring distant galaxies, nebulae, etc.,. It can be used to detect exoplanets but the planet should be size much larger than Jupiter, therefore it becomes ineffective in finding earth sized habitable planet in the habitable zone with respective to it’s host star. As mentioned in the post both Kepler and TESS are specifically made to detect the exoplanets in distance stars but TESS is tailor made to find exoplanets which are very mush close to earth rather than Kepler which is designed to detect distant exoplanet.

      another difference is TESS is capable of finding earth sized planets which is pretty hard to find because of their size and the tiny portion of starlight it blocks.

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