TESS - successor to Kepler

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brian livesey
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TESS - successor to Kepler

Post by brian livesey »

Nasa's new space telescope, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite ( TESS ), is due for launch from Florida on a FalconX 9 rocket on April 16th. TESS will carry on where the Kepler space telescope left off.
Kepler's gyroscopic positioning system broke down four years after its launch in 2013, but it has been possible to keep it running on a limited operational basis until now. But now, Kepler's fuel has almost run out.
Over the past 20 years, Kepler discovered almost all of the 3,500 exoplanets that have been recorded, and there's still plenty more back-data to sift through. In this respect, Kepler lives on. It's hoped that TESS will discover many thousands more exoplanets, some of them rocky Earth-sized and others " super-Earths".
TESS will take about sixty days to reach a first-time-tried highly elliptical orbit that will loop the telescope between the Earth and Moon every two weeks: "It's perfect timing that we'll be launching TESS to continue the great activity of looking for planets around stars other than our Sun and thinking about what it might mean for life in the universe," said Dr. Paul Hertz, Nasa's director of astrophysics.
TESS is about the size of a refrigerator and has four cameras to examine 200,000 stars that, being relatively close to the Sun, are among the brightest in the sky.
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Re: TESS - successor to Kepler

Post by JohnM »

The first data from TESS should be available soon - the advantage over Kepler is that the stars are bright enough for other telescopes to get detailed spectra. The disadvantage is that only a very limited number of bright stars can be observed at a time as they are far apart. Kepler imaged a lot of stars for a long duration.
Engineer @ Work - Astronomer @ Play
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