A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Looks Nearby
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is NASA's latest effort at identifing planets orbiting the brightest stars just outside our solar system.
(Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS))
When a planet passes in front of, or transits, its parent star, it blocks some of the star's light. TESS searches for these telltale dips in brightness, which can reveal the planet's presence and provide additional information about it.
TESS will be able to learn the sizes of the planets it sees and how long it takes them to complete an orbit. These two pieces of information are critical to understanding whether a planet is capable of supporting life. Nearly all other planet classifications will come from follow up observations, by both TESS team ground telescopes as well as ground- and space-based observations, including NASA's James Webb Space Telescope launching in 2018.
TESS will survey most of the sky by segmenting it into 26 different segments known as tiles. The spacecraft's powerful cameras will look continuously at each tile for just over 27 days, measuring visible light from the brightest targets every two minutes. TESS will look at stars classified as twelfth apparent magnitude and brighter, some of which are visible to the naked eye. The higher the apparent magnitude, the fainter the star. For comparison, most people can see stars as faint as sixth magnitude in a clear dark sky and the faintest star in the Big Dipper ranks as third magnitude.
Golden Age science fiction master Edmond Hamilton described the idea of an automated habitable planet-finding telescope in his 1936 short story Cosmic Quest:
I was near enough it now to set my automatic astronomical instruments to searching it for a habitable planet.
These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected. With super-telescopic eyes each one scanned a part of the star field before them. And each mechanical eye, when it found planetary systems in its field, automatically shifted upon them a higher powered telespectroscope which recorded on permanent film the size, mean temperature and atmospheric conditions of these worlds.
(Read more about Hamilton's search for habitable planets)
(The telespectroscope recorded the conditions of these other worlds)
If you're interested in looking to move close by, see Looking For Earth-Like Worlds With Nulling Interferometry.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/14/2016)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Solar X-Flares Disrupt North American Radio And Navigation
'A true cosmic storm!' - Jack Williamson, 1939.
Restructure An Asteroid, Spin It, Get A 'Space Habitat' With Gravity?
'When the colony was established, the whole interior was carved out with atomic burners...' - John Campbell, 1932.
Quadruple-Star System Now Forming
'... ravished with joy, I gazed at the giant suns, Arcturus and Betelguese, and the red Antares, and at systems of double and triple and quadruple suns...' - Stanton Coblentz, 1934.
Nuclear Rockets To Fly In Space!
'... the only type of engine which could possibly transport a heavy machine from our earth to some planet, would have to be the atomic-energy engine.' -
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Barista Robot Perfects Latte Swirl With Multi-DOF Wriggle
'It's done with a flip of the third joint of the tentacle on the down beat.'
Vendetta 2023 All-Terrain Skateboard Could Use Neal Stephenson's Smartwheels
'If you surf over a bump... If you surf over a pothole...'
Safe Street Rebel Autonomous Vehicle Luddites And Schachner's 1931 Robot-Deranger
'Then the spreading beam of the deranging ray struck them, and they stood an instant transfixed...'
The Electric Balance Bicycle And The Decline Of Western Civilization
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed...'
'Droplet' Battery Microscale Power Pack
'...a power pack the size of a pea.'
ARX-5 Doing Robot Arm Dancing
It's Data's day - at last.
CD, DVD Bit Rot And PKD's Civic Notification Distorter
'...copy two of the original document no longer can be superimposed on copy one.'
Inbiodroid Prometheus 2.0 Telepresence Avatar Robot
My prize robot, tall, dashing would speak and act for me...
Amazon One Is Frank Herbert's Palm Lock
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape and palm lines.'
DroneDog Ground Security Robot Dogs From Asylon
'I have transferred the ego of a dog to a synthetic dog brain in the skull case of a robot dog.'
Who Knows What Might Be Found When Visiting A Metal Asteroid?
'...inspect the tiny speck of matter that swam toward them out of the bottomless void.'
Giant Lunar Surface Test Bed Built On Earth
Astronauts first walked the site, then flew over the site at a few hundred feet in a small Cessna.
FlyCroTug Drones Work In Teams Now
'It slid smoothly out of its cell like a metal wasp emerging from its nest, and hung in midair.'
Zai Pits (West Sahel) And Dew Collectors (Dune)
'Each is planted most tenderly in its own little pit.'
Delivery Robots Being Bullied, Robbed
'Robots have worse problems than anybody.' (A Present for Pat)
Zoom Education Idea Is 100 Years Old
'... the frosted glass squares began, one by one, to show the faces and shoulders of a peculiar type of young men.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories