NASA’S Probe Discovers a New Planet
09, Jan 2019
Prelims level : Space Mains level : GS 3: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
NASA’s latest planet-hunting probe has discovered a new world outside our solar system, orbiting a dwarf star 53 light years away.
- This is the third new planet confirmed by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) since its launch in April last year.
- The planet, named HD 21749b, orbits a bright, nearby dwarf star about 53 light years away, in the constellation Reticulum, and appears to have the longest orbital period of the three planets so far identified by TESS.
About Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
- The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a space telescope for NASA’s Explorers program, designed to search for exoplanets using the transit method in an area 400 times larger than that covered by the Kepler mission.
- It was launched on April 18, 2018 atop a Falcon 9 rocket. During its 2-year primary mission, it is expected to find more than 20,000 exoplanets, compared to about 3,800 exoplanets known when it launched.
- The primary mission objective for TESS is to survey the brightest stars near the Earth for transiting exoplanets over a two-year period.
- The TESS satellite uses an array of wide-field cameras to perform a survey of 85% of the sky. With TESS, it is possible to study the mass, size, density and orbit of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky planets in the habitable zones of their host stars.