Technology NASA's New Exoplanet-Hunting Satellite Picks Up a Comet

17:56  09 august  2018
17:56  09 august  2018 Source:   popularmechanics.com

NASA's TESS Space Telescope Begins Hunt for New Planets

  NASA's TESS Space Telescope Begins Hunt for New Planets TESS may uncover planets that have the right conditions for life to exist.The spacecraft, will scour the skies, monitoring more than 200,000 nearby stars for new exoplanets—planets that lie beyond our Solar System. Some of these may reside in the habitable zone of their host star, in which case, they would become targets for future missions that could assess their ability to harbor life.

NASA then stitched those images together into a short video: Analyzing this comet provides a great way to test out the new satellite ' s capabilities. Because TESS hunts exoplanets by taking multiple accurate images of the same location for months or even years at a time

During tests of NASA ’ s new Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a comet was seen streaking across the sky—a fortuitous event that showcased the power of this new planet-seeking telescope. Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Captures First Close- Up Image of Ryugu Asteroid.

a group of people walking in the rain © MIT/NASA Goddard

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite-TESS for short-was launched to space a few months ago, and spends its time in looking for planets orbiting other stars. But recently, TESS spotted something else: a comet that happened to be passing close in our galactic neighborhood.

After TESS's spring launch, NASA's been testing its new planet hunter's systems. As part of that test, NASA pointed the spacecraft’s cameras at recently discovered comet C/2018 N1, located nearly 30 million miles away from Earth.

Even though the satellite was still in its testing phase, it managed to capture a bunch of high-quality shots of the comet while passed by during a period of 17 hours. NASA stitched those images together into a short video:

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope Not Dead Yet, May Even Have Another Exoplanet Survey Left in It

  NASA's Kepler Space Telescope Not Dead Yet, May Even Have Another Exoplanet Survey Left in It NASA’s $600 million Kepler space telescope, which is more or less running on thruster fuel fumes nearly a decade after its launch in 2009.After waking from its hibernation, Kepler began transmitting the data it gathered from the 18th 80-day survey of its “K2" phase—an extension of its original mission launched after the craft suffered a mechanical malfunction in its steering system in 2013—via NASA’s Deep Space Network, an array of receiver dishes around the globe. If there is remaining fuel, NASA staff may try to use Kepler for a 19th observation mission.

NASA ' s new 'planet hunter,' set to be Kepler's successor, is equipped with four cameras that will allow it to view 85 per cent of the entire sky, as it searches exoplanets orbiting Share or comment on this article: TESS catches a comet : NASA ' s new exoplanet - hunting satellite spots an orbiting space rock.

NASA ' s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) did a bit of limbering up before commencing its science operations on July 25, 2018. The unmanned space telescope demonstrated what it could do by snapping a series of images capturing the motion of a comet over the course of 17 hours.

Analyzing this comet provides a great way to test out its capabilities. Because TESS hunts exoplanets by taking multiple accurate images of the same location for months or even years at a time, it needs to detect the subtle changes in brightness that occur when an exoplanet passes in front of its host star. This is how NASA scientists know how many planets are in that solar system. TESS used that same imaging method to analyze C/2018 N1. 

NASA completed TESS's testing phase and began its search for new exoplanets for the past two weeks. While we haven’t seen any results yet, this one video is a promising preamble to many future discoveries.

A $1 billion telescope that will take pictures 10 times sharper than Hubble's is now officially under construction .
GMTO Corporation Construction crews have broken ground on the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile. When complete, the telescope will have a light-collecting area about 80 feet in diameter — nearly the area of a basketball court. GMT's photos will be about 10 times sharper than those of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Laser-based optics will help the $1-billion telescope "sniff" the atmospheres of potentially habitable exoplanets. In astronomy,In astronomy, cutting-edge technology often begins with a bunch of bulldozers, busted rocks, and dump trucks.

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