NASA’s planet-hunting TESS spacecraft swings by moon, takes picture of 200,000 stars

NASA's planet-hunting TESS spacecraft swings by moon, takes picture of 200,000 stars

NASA’s new planet-hunting spacecraft has efficiently accomplished a flyby across the moon – snapping revealing greater than 200,000 stars alongside the best way.

The image is the primary taken for the reason that Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite tv for pc (TESS) lifted off from Cape Canaveral in April on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

TESS accomplished its lunar flyby on 17 Could and the science staff accomplished a two-second take a look at publicity utilizing one of many spacecraft’s 4 cameras.

Test image from one of the four cameras aboard the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Pic: NASA
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The brand new NASA picture exhibits 200,000 stars

It’s centred on the southern hemisphere constellation Centaurus and divulges greater than 200,000 stars.

The image is just the start for NASA, as TESS is anticipated to cowl 400 instances as a lot sky throughout its mission to seek for planets outdoors of our photo voltaic system – our bodies referred to as exoplanets – a few of which may probably harbour life.

The spacecraft will scan the sky with its 4 cameras as a part of an preliminary two-year search.

NASA says science-quality picture, often known as a “first gentle” picture, is anticipated to be launched in June.

A Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida on Wednesday on SpaceX’s first high-priority science mission for NASA, a planet-hunting orbital telescope designed to detect worlds beyond our solar system that might be capable of harboring life.
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TESS blasted off on a SpaceX rocket in April

TESS has a extremely uncommon orbit round Earth which is designed to maximise the quantity of sky it could actually picture.

It would observe practically your entire sky to watch for sudden dips within the brightness of close by stars attributable to planets passing in entrance of them.

NASA expects TESS will discover hundreds of exoplanets, and its James Webb House Telescope – scheduled to launch in 2020 – will present follow-up observations.

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TESS is a NASA astrophysics explorer mission led and operated by the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how, and managed by NASA’s Goddard House Flight Centre.

Greater than a dozen universities, analysis institutes and observatories worldwide are participating within the mission.

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