TESS a Better Tool for Hunting Exoplanets

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Kepler has led the way finding over 1000 exoplanets. A new vehicle, TESS – Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, will soon (2017) join Kepler to seek out planets. TESS is different in that it will focus on closer stars, those within about 200 light years. It will use the same method as Keplar, looking for the light from stars to slightly dim as a planet passes between the star and Earth in its orbit.

The four, eight inch telescopes on board TESS are designed to be very sensitive to variations in light intensity. Sensitive enough to pick up the transit of planets event smaller than Earth. Over the first two years of operation, TESS will survey 200,000 stars. The expectation is that thousands of new exoplanets will be discovered.

 

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