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Old 9th April 2013
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Arrow NASA, MIT to Launch TESS Hunt for Habitable Planets in 2017

NASA, MIT to Launch TESS Hunt for Habitable Planets in 2017


Next to searching for giant asteroids that threaten the safety of Earth, searching for a planet similar to our own has been one of the chief pursuits of the world's leading astronomers and astrophysicists. Now, NASA has tapped a group of researchers at MIT to do just that: locate a planet similar in size to the Earth and around the same distance from its sun.


The project is known as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and, thanks to a $200 million grant, the team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will work with NASA to launch an array of telescopes into orbit in 2017. Peering through the universe's dense blanket of stars, TESS will search for transiting exoplanets (planets orbiting a star other than our own sun, periodically eclipsing that star) using wide-field cameras with the ability to detect everything from gas giants to Earth-sized planets.


"TESS will carry out the first space-borne all-sky transit survey, covering 400 times as much sky as any previous mission," George Ricker, a senior research scientist at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, said in a statement. "It will identify thousands of new planets in the solar neighborhood, with a special focus on planets comparable in size to the Earth."


As TESS collects its data, the satellite will transmit it back to Earth every two weeks for several decades. In addition to cataloging the orbits, sizes, masses, and overall frequency of Earth-sized planets, TESS is also viewed as a tool that may increase our chances of finding extraterrestrial life.
"The selection of TESS has just accelerated our chances of finding life on another planet within the next decade," said Sara Seager, a professor of planetary science and physics.


http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2417552,00.asp
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Nice depiction of Currently predicted habitable Earth-like worlds

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kepler looks
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Wow and US will be looking for oil on those planets.
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Instead of spending so much money on space programmes, why doesnt US look after its unempolyment issues and also give this much money to african and asian nations. US should focus on their nation first and then the rest of the world and the universe!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anilchowdhary View Post
Instead of spending so much money on space programmes, why doesnt US look after its unempolyment issues and also give this much money to african and asian nations. US should focus on their nation first and then the rest of the world and the universe!!!
such projects generate jobs sir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anilchowdhary View Post
Instead of spending so much money on space programmes, why doesnt US look after its unempolyment issues and also give this much money to african and asian nations. US should focus on their nation first and then the rest of the world and the universe!!!
One part of your reply does seem reasonable to me,but you can't pull legs of the Govt.projects that attempt to explore possibilities of such discoveries ,because this is the need of the future generations ,this is the need to preserve humans as species even though it would take millions of years to wipe out its existence from Earth.
Had we stopped looking for answers,we wouldn't have found the Earth is not a square or that it's not at the center of our universe.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by {Bhau} View Post
kepler looks




It's actually collective system of exoplanets.Important thing is that they orbit around a red dwarf ,but sadly only 1 of them lies in the Goldilocks zone (Habitable zone)
What astronomers look for in exo planets is
1.The star system(most are binary sys)
2.the zone where it lies (shouldn't be as close as mercury to Sun or as far as Jupiter )
3.Tidal locking of the planet(orbiting period)
4.Favorable spectral outlines from its atmosphere and presence of liquid water.
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