NASA's Planet Hunting Telescope is making astounding discoveries at astounding speeds and has now confirmed the discovery of a third new planet and a handful of exploding stars in our "Cosmic Backyard".
The new exoplanet, HD 21
Of the planets discovered so far, HD 21749b has the longest orbital period around its star and takes 36 days to complete a transit. At cool 300 degrees Fahrenheit (~ 149 degrees Celsius), it is also "relatively cool" for a planet orbiting so close to its star. It has a greater density than the Neptune of our solar system, but it is not expected to be rocky.
The discovery, which was discussed at the 23rd American Astronomical Society (AAS) and pre-printed at arXiv, is just one of several that is now very much in the spotlight for TESS. During the meeting, Chelsea Huang, an MIT researcher working on the TESS datasets, said that TESS has confirmed the existence of eight new exoplanets and that there are "probably 20 or 30" more potential discoveries that are "almost done". ,
TESS is looking for new planets by examining the light from about 200,000 stars and detecting noticeable brightness changes. When the light "drops" and temporarily decreases in brightness, this indicates that a planet may be orbiting the star.
This has already led to the discovery of two other planets,back in September. These planets rip their stars much faster than HD 21749b and completed orbits at 6.3 days and a meager 11 hours. Since TESS is programmed to look at part of the sky for only 27 days, planets with longer orbits are hard to identify.
However, TESS is not just a planet hunter.
"We think of TESS As an exoplanet hunter, TESS is also very effective in finding many other types of objects," said Dr. George Ricker, chief investigator of the TESS mission.
TESS has a number of instruments that seek a range of instruments from other cosmic phenomena, including asteroids, comets and exploding stars or "supernovae". After recording science operations in just one sector of the sky, researchers at AAS observed that TESS had already identified six supernovae – a remarkable finding. To put it in context, Michael Fausnaugh, a pipeline scientist from TESS, discussed this in comparison to the now defunct Kepler NASA telescope of observation, "he said during the AAS conference.
TESS If the southern hemisphere continues until mid-2019, then the camera will focus on the Northern Hemisphere and begin another observation phase. "Ricker briefly touched on a potentially extended mission for the Planet Hunting Telescope, which would begin in 2020 and continue until 2022, to further sectors of the planet Investigating Heavens Missing in First Years of Operation  The discoveries of a new planet and several supernovae are exciting enough, and what will come should give us even more information about the phenomena already discovered, with the introduction of James Webb Telescope planet fighters and scientists can more information about the discovery catch up with TESS and look for planets like ours.
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