Space

NASA satellite finds 66 new exoplanets, 2,100 more 'candidates'

NASA satellite finds 66 new exoplanets, 2,100 more 'candidates'

Picture for representation purpose only. NASA

During its two-year-long primary mission, NASA's planet hunter TESS has found 66 new exoplanets, or worlds beyond our Solar System, as well as nearly 2,100 candidates astronomers are working to confirm, the US space agency has said.

"TESS is producing a torrent of high-quality observations providing valuable data across a wide range of science topics," said Patricia Boyd, the project scientist for TESS at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "As it enters its extended mission, TESS is already a roaring success."

TESS monitors 24-by-96-degree strips of the sky called sectors for about a month using its four cameras.

About its primary mission

TESS, short for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, scanned about 75% of the starry sky during its primary mission that ended on July 4, NASA said.

The mission spent its first year observing 13 sectors comprising the southern sky and then spent another year imaging the northern sky. Now in its extended mission, TESS has turned around to resume surveying the south, NASA said. The extended mission for TESS will be completed in September 2022.

After spending a year imaging the southern sky, TESS will take another 15 months to collect additional observations in the north and to survey areas along the ecliptic -- the plane of Earth's orbit around the Sun -- that the satellite has not yet imaged.

Among the mission's newest planetary discoveries are its first Earth-size world, named TOI 700 d, which is located in the habitable zone of its star, the range of distances where conditions could be just right to allow liquid water on the surface.

TESS revealed a newly minted planet around the young star AU Microscopii and found a Neptune-size world orbiting two suns.

In addition to its planetary discoveries, TESS has observed the outburst of a comet in our Solar System, as well as numerous exploding stars.

Even more remarkable, TESS watched as a black hole in a distant galaxy shredded a Sun-like star, NASA said. IANS

Top Stories

Babri case verdict today; Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti unlikely to be present in court

Babri case verdict today; Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti unlikely to be present in court

Case relates to razing of disputed structure in Ayodhya on D...

PM Modi tells Yogi govt to take strict action against Hathras gang-rape culprits

PM Modi tells Yogi govt to take strict action against Hathras gang-rape culprits

UP govt sets up 3-member SIT to probe incident

80,472 new infections in a day push national Covid tally beyond 62 lakh

80,472 new infections in a day push national Covid tally beyond 62 lakh

Death toll rises to 97,497 with 1,179 more fatalities

India does not give a 'straight count' on Covid-19 deaths: Trump

India does not give a 'straight count' on Covid-19 deaths: Trump

During the presidential debate on Tuesday night between him ...

Cities

View All