NASA satellite finds 66 new exoplanets

Published: August 13, 2020

The NASA’s planet-hunter TESS has found 66 exoplanets or worlds beyond our solar system, as well as nearly 2100 candidates as such candidates on which the astronomers are working to confirm if they have the chances to be called as planets.

About TESS

TESS stands for Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite and it scanned about 75 per cent of the starry sky during its primary mission that ended on July 4, 2020. It is producing a torrent of high-quality observations providing valuable data across a wide range of science topics. It monitors 24-by-96 degree strips of the sky called sectors for about a month using its four cameras. The mission spent its first year observing 13 sectors comprising the southern sky and then spent another year imaging the northern sky. In the extended mission, this will again resume surveying the south. The extended mission will end in September 2022.

What is an Exoplanet?

The worlds orbiting other stars are known as exoplanets and they come in a wide variety of sizes, from gas giants larger than Jupiter to small, rocky planets as big around as Earth and Mars. They can be hot enough to boil metal or locked in deep freeze also.

About NASA Missions

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States Federal government responsible for the civilian space programs. Some of the important missions of the organization launched recently are:

  • Artemis Lunar Mission in 2019
  • ATTREX Mission in 2014
  • Cassini-Huygens Operations from 1997 to 2017
  • Cloud-Aerosol Transport System Operation from 2015 to 2017
  • Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System in 2016
  • Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission to be launched in 2021

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