The TESS space telescope has spotted its first exoplanet


NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which launched in April (SN: 5/12/18, p. 7), has taken its first wide-sky science image and has confirmed its first exoplanet.

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BRAVE NEW WORLDS’ The TESS exoplanet telescope’s first science image includes this snapshot of the southern sky, plus three more taken with TESS’s other three cameras. The Large Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy that orbits the Milky Way, is on the image’s right. The star R Doradus is so bright it left a spike of light streaking across the image.

Moving on.

The ‘first light’ image (the moniker for a new telescope’s first useful image), taken August 7 with all four of the telescope’s cameras and released September 17, shows a field of stars and two of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic clouds. A few of the stars are so bright they saturated the telescope’s light detector, creating streaks of light across the whole image.

  • Publisher: Science News
  • Date: 2018-09-18T17:23:16-04:00
  • Author: Lisa Grossman
  • Twitter: @ScienceNews
  • Citation: Web link

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TESS Shares 1st Science Image in Hunt to Find New Worlds | NASA

  • Publisher: NASA
  • Twitter: @11348282
  • Citation: Web link

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NASA prepares to launch next mission to search sky for new worlds

Illustration of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Telescope (TESS) in front of a lava planet orbiting its host star. TESS will identify thousands of potential new planets for further study and observation. Credit: NASA-GSFC

On March 15, the spacecraft passed a review that confirmed it was ready for launch. For final launch preparations, the spacecraft will be fueled and encapsulated within the payload fairing of its SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

TESS will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. With the help of a gravitational assist from the Moon, the spacecraft will settle into a 13.7-day orbit around Earth. Sixty days after launch, and following tests of its instruments, the satellite will begin its initial two-year mission.

From the human eye to Hubble: a brief history of our quest for better vision

Technology today enables us to ‘look’ millions of light years across the universe, but up until 400 years ago we didn’t even have telescopes. The scientific search for ways to improve our sense of sight is truly inspiring

In psychology, this is called the drive theory of curiosity. It defines curiosity as an internal drive that’s as important to us as hunger or thirst. It’s a naturally occurring urge that has to be satisfied. So, when we’d done inventing fire and shelter and took a look at our five senses, it’s only natural that we’d work on technology to improve sight above all the others. We’re always trying to find new ways of taking a better look.

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  • Publisher: the Guardian
  • Date: 2018-09-13T14:13:45.000Z
  • Author: Stephen Armstrong
  • Twitter: @guardian
  • Citation: Web link

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