Planets with possibility of life may exist not far beyond our solar system, although from then, the distances of astronomical are gigantic almost always. With the help of TESS – Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is expected to be able to be found for some candidates where it could be life as we know it.
The satellite is designed to search for worlds that circulate around stars like the Sun, according to the plans of the mission. “TESS is like a scout”, says Natalia Guerrero of NASA. “We are on a scenic trip around the neck and on some parts we just don’t have idea of what you can see. It is how to make a treasure map: sure wonderful things will be. Now then, let’s go after them”, indicates.
But for TESS to be able to do your mission, you need to search the heavens, looking for small points of light on stars that suddenly darken a little when they pass the planets between the satellite and the star. Even a small planet will block a little of the light from the star as it transits for his career and TESS will be able to realize this. It is clear that the precision of the instruments that takes the satellite is very thin (and why does it cost so many million).
TESS will take close to two years to process 85% of the sky, looking in a region where there can be more than 20 million stars, according to MIT. TESS has four cameras that may be watching the stars and potential planets that interrupt the light of the same on their travels. Scientists expect to find thousands of star that could cause us to detect planets orbiting these stars, including the MIT, in a press release.
TESS is the size of a refrigerator and can detect about 50 planets that may be similar in size to the Earth. The cameras of the satellite will see the sky and take pictures of it, looking for planets circulating around stars. TESS will take pictures every two minutes for what is expected to be able to see some planets interrupting the light from the star for a few moments at least.
Also, TESS will take pictures of wide-angle large portions of the sky every 30 minutes. “With the images of every two minutes, we can make a sequence of the same, as if it were a movie, and observe with much more detail, the stars of interest,” indicates Guerrero. “For the images every 30 minutes, we are excited about the possibility of seeing supernovae, asteroids, or even the consequences of the gravitational waves. We don’t know what we will see and this temporal scale,” added Guerrero.
TESS could even think the scientists, found the first planet that has conditions similar to Earth, with a star similar to the Sun, including. The scientists will seek to worlds are potentially habitable with Sun-like stars. The reason for this seems to be clear: it is the only possibility of finding life similar to that found on our planet. It is a logical search.
But since then, “there is no science to tell us how is the life outside of our planet, except for some rocky planets that are apparently incredibly common,” says the researcher of exoplanets, MIT, Sara Saeger. It should be noted that TESS will be able to indicate how close they are to the Earth potential habitable planets or life chances. TESS will look at stars that are only about 300 light-years away.
It is clear that NASA has more projects in this regard, for example, the telescope James Webb, who is expected to be launched in 2020 and that can even detect the atmosphere of the planets potentially interesting for the life that could have been found by TESS.
NASA has searched for planets that pass between the stars and the first to do this was the telescope Képler, that has been detecting these exoplanets for years. We have found about 2,600 potential candidates. However, according to the scientists, TESS will be able to find that Képler simply missed perhaps for mere technical reasons of their instruments.
But do not expect that TESS will find planets like the Earth of the night to the morning. Astronomy is a science where the patience is present. “The search for planets with life (or habitable), it can take many years, generations of scientists, including adds,” Saeger. “Patience is a virtue!”, concludes.