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NASA’s TESS Satellite Begins Science Operations: a Quest for Exoplanets

TESS is expected to find thousands of planets using this method, some of which could potentially support life

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NASA to use Blockchain technology for air traffic management. Pixabay

After a successful launch in April this year, NASA’s newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), has now started its search for planets around nearby stars.

Officially beginning science operations on July 25, TESS is expected to transmit its first series of science data back to Earth in August, and thereafter periodically every 13.5 days, once per orbit, as the spacecraft makes it closest approach to Earth, NASA said in a statement.

“I’m thrilled that our new planet hunter mission is ready to start scouring our solar system’s neighborhood for new worlds,” said NASA Astrophysics Division Director Paul Hertz.

“Now that we know there are more planets than stars in our universe, I look forward to the strange, fantastic worlds we’re bound to discover,” Hertz added.

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NASA’s newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), has now started its search for planets around nearby stars. Flickr

TESS is NASA’s latest satellite to search for planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets.

The mission will spend the next two years monitoring the nearest and brightest stars for periodic dips in their light.

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These events, called transits, suggest that a planet may be passing in front of its star.

TESS is expected to find thousands of planets using this method, some of which could potentially support life. (IANS)

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This NASA Scientist is so Excited about Mercury Transit. Here’s Why

The tiny planet traveled directly between Earth and the sun on Monday, creating a perfect alignment

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The planet Mercury is seen in silhouette, low center, from Washington, as it transits across the face of the Sun, Nov. 11, 2019. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls). VOA

Stargazers witnessed a rare celestial event on Monday, as Mercury passed directly across the face of the sun.NASA

Mercury, the solar system’s smallest planet and closest to the sun, won’t make the next such transit until 2032.

The tiny planet traveled directly between Earth and the sun on Monday, creating a perfect alignment.

The best views of the event took place in North and South America, while viewers in Europe and Africa were able to see part of Mercury’s passage.

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Mercury, the solar system’s smallest planet and closest to the sun, won’t make the next such transit until 2032. Pixabay

Stargazers had to use solar-filtered binoculars and telescopes to spot Mercury, which appeared as a small black dot on the face of the sun.

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For those who could not see the event directly, the U.S. Space agency, NASA, live-streamed images of the celestial transit, which took about five and a half hours. (VOA)