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Home / Science / Space images of the week: Meet TESS, the exoplanet hunter

Space images of the week: Meet TESS, the exoplanet hunter



This black and white picture might look like a static picture on a very old TV, but every dot is actually a star. Alone in this photo are more than 200,000 stars to see, taken from NASA's new Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite, known as TESS. At the bottom of the picture is the star Beta Centauri. This is the very first picture TESS took in April when she arrived in space. Once it has settled in orbit around the Earth, it will officially begin the mission to chase after exoplanets for other stars.

This is the G305 complex, a stellar hotbed of massive proportions. The so-called star formation complex is home to nearly 16 massive stars that come from the gases in this region. The darker gray and blue areas are the hottest and home to the youngest stars, while the red and orange areas are older areas with more mature stellar objects. These gas areas are residual clouds from the Big Bang; When they are tight enough, the gas particles can eventually fuse together, heat up and possibly become a star. Do not expect that new stars will form overnight! The early stages of the formation alone can take more than 1

0 million years.

Wait, that's not where Jupiter's red spot should be! The gas giant looks upside down in this photo – a new perspective on the monster of our solar system. The Juno spacecraft, which sweeps across the poles of the planet every 53 days on a strongly extended orbit, took that deceptive shot on April 1. The unusual angle makes the Great Red Spot appear as if it were in the northern hemisphere of Jupiter the south.

No, you do not see it twice: Meet NGC 5426 and NGC 5427, two huge and nearly identical spiral galaxies. Together they form a region called Arp 271, which is more than 110 million light-years away. In other words, this picture shows what the galaxies looked like 110 million years ago, because of course, it took us so long to reach them here on Earth. The mass of each galaxy is drawing ever closer to the other, forcing them to merge in a brilliant and fierce dance of gas and stars.

This colorful object called E0102 is a neutron star, a rare star that is rare in most neutron stars. It is found to be close to a stellar companion. Neutron stars are extremely dense objects that turn into supernovae when they collapse. The result is this explosion of gas and debris that can be seen here in a composite of three different telescopes. It is a rainbow-colored remnant of a rather dramatic event: the X-rays of the Chandra Observatory are blue and purple; visible light from the Very Large Telescope is in bright red; and the darker reds and greens come from the Hubble Space Telescope. These green, filamentous stripes are essentially star splinters that are flung into space at millions of miles per hour.

NGC 1032, a large spiral galaxy like ours, is a perfect example of our unique Earth-based viewpoint. When we point our telescopes at it, we see that NGC 1032 looks like it looks more like a flying saucer than your ordinary galactic body. Its dark gas band meanders as the glow of its galactic core radiates from the center. All these other galaxies in the background? This is just a snapshot of the area around the constellation Cetus. There is apparently no end to what can be seen in any corner of the universe.


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