NASA is all set to launch TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) on April 16, which is designed to find out thousands of new exoplanets, that has signs of life. The satellite is all set to be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and increase the number of found exoplanets by 400%. The satellite is going to starts its journey where the Kepler telescope has left off.
Basically there are 3 ways to look out for extraterrestrial life, which includes flying spacecraft to watery moons and planets in the solar system to hunt for microbes, hearing the signals considering from any technological civilization in the galaxy with the assistance of large radio telescope, and the newest one is probing planets which are in the orbit of other stars for the signs of habitability.
TESS is in general a survey telescope which is specifically designed to scan around 85% of the sky and able to measure the stars with the brightness of around 300 light years. Kepler itself used the same method, and has successfully found 2500 exoplanets and same numbers of ojects are yet to be confirmed. TESS is going to raise the bar. It is quite possible that the number of exoplanets will rise up to 10 to 20 K, says George Ricker, director of MIT’s CCD imaging laboratory and main investigator of TESS mission.
Kepler has revealed that cool and little M-dwarf stars also known as red dwarfs are the ideal places to search for planets. Based on this information TESS is keen to find more number of planets which is in orbit of M-dwarf stars. This makes TESS a “Finder Scope”, says Ricker.
- TESS is going to start its journey, from where its predecessor Kepler has left.
- It is stated that in the next two years this mission will scan 85% of sky and is designed to find new planets in the orbit of M-dwarf stars.