When NASA's latest planetary Hunter is scheduled to launch on Monday night, astronomers will know about nearly 4,000 alien worlds outside the solar system.
Scientists expect that two years later, when the transit exoplanet exploration satellite completes its mission, TESS will increase the number five times.
They hope that, in the new discoveries, it will be a world full of rocks, with an atmosphere in which to explore the signs of life.
"It opens a whole new window for the universe," said George Rick, an astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is the chief researcher for the mission.
The satellite is scheduled to take off from Kennedy Space Center at about 6: 32. m.
Take the Falcon 9 rocket on Monday.
The launch will be broadcast on NASA Television.
Tess should have arrived in orbit around the Earth. before-
About two months later, take it near the moon using a highly oval path.
Soon thereafter, it will begin scientific action.
Tess is going to be a high man.
As a successor to the Kepler space telescope, the Kepler space telescope has been orbiting the Earth for the past 10 years and has detected most of the exoplanets currently known in science.
"Kepler opened the field in a rather dramatic way," Ricker said . " This shows that for every star in the sky, there are countless exoplanets waiting.
But now is the time to pass the torch.
Ricker explained that, unlike Kepler, who went deep into the narrow sky and found distant planets around stars such as the sun, Tess's investigation would be "wide and shallow ".
It is designed to look at stars of all ages and sizes in hundreds of lights
It will sweep the sky in just two years.
There are four sensitive cameras in the fridge.
The size of the satellite will look in the light of the star for a tiny, indicative descent of the problem, which occurs when the planet "transits" or passes past it.
The frequency of each faint flicker will indicate the size of the planet and its distance from the star.
Next, astronomers on Earth will measure the way the planet's gravity swings the Star in Orbit-an observation that will provide the mass of the planet.
Combined with this data, scientists will help with the features of the Earth: is it a small, rocky world like the Earth?
Rich does it have a solid surface or, like Neptune, a dense core surrounded by a rotating gas cloud. Tess's mission coincides with the debut of the powerful new ground --and space-
The Observatory, including NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, is scheduled to launch in 2020.
If planet Tess had an atmosphere, the instruments might be able to perceive the way it changed its starlight through it.
This study can reveal "biological features"-molecules including oxygen and methane produced by organisms.
"That's why we're so excited," said Jesse Kristianson, an astronaut at the California Institute of Technology and NASA's Institute of exoplanet science, who is a member of Tess's steering committee for follow-up action.
Unlike Kepler's discovery, the planets Tess found will run around nearby stars, bright enough for a detailed description.
"We have a large number of astronomical stations and astronomers on the ground eagerly waiting to be told, 'This is a candidate, '" she said '. ".
Astrst or any other existing telescope is unlikely to detect the biological features of such a small exoplanet on Earth.
For this reason, astronomers have to wait for tasks that are still in the conceptual phase and will not launch in nearly 20 years.
But even if Tess does not immediately find a possible home for alien life, it will conduct a census of our galactic community to provide other insights into planets and the solar system.
"We can start to find out how the planets change as a function of the star type and the age of the stars," Christansen said . ".
"We can solve the theory of how planets form competing with each other.
"In addition to the planets, the spacecraft will also be for other occasional, short-lived
Term events such as Super Nova, gamma ray burst, or gravitational wave-
Neutron star collisions like the headlines last fall.
"Tess is a garbage --
"The treasure is a mission," said Natalia grero, deputy manager of the item group of interest to Tess.
Looking at the light of the whole sky, she said, it will inevitably find something to meet the needs of almost everyone in astronomy.