How to watch SpaceX launch NASA's new planet-hunting satellite today

NASA and SpaceX Are About to Launch Planet Hunting Satellite TESSMore

On Monday, the new space telescope TESS from Cape Canaveral (Florida) to be shot into space.

NASA's new planet-hunting satellite will "discover new potential planets orbiting bright host stars relatively close to Earth", said the company, which is controlled by billionaire USA tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Even if TESS does not immediately find possible homes for alien life, it will essentially conduct a census of our galactic neighborhood, offering other insights into planets and solar systems.

So, how do you tune in to see SpaceX launch a NASA satellite that could find Earth 2.0? Bigger and more powerful observatories of the future will scrutinize these prime candidates for potential signs of life.

"TESS will search 85 percent of our sky for exoplanets orbiting bright stars and our nearest stellar neighbors", Martin Still, NASA headquarters program scientist for TESS, told Newsweek.

At the moment when the spacecraft launches, astronomers will know of almost 4,000 alien worlds outside our solar system.

The satellite's goal is to extend the successful mission of the Kepler Space Telescope by observing stars and monitoring them for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits.




Ricker and other scientists said the planetary catalog generated by TESS could well become the guidebook for that armada.

It will take TESS just two years to survey nearly the entire sky, with the satellite to begin its search in the Southern Hemisphere sky before moving onto the Northern Hemisphere next year.

"This is the reason we're all so excited", said Jessie Christiansen, an astronomer at Caltech and NASA's Exoplanet Science Institute who sits on the steering committee for TESS's follow-up working group.

It's not created to find Earth-like planets, but instead, planets that are orbiting the "habitable zone" of nearby small stars.

Since the planets discovered by TESS will be much closer, they can be studied much more easily.

Cosmos will bring details of the rescheduled launch as soon as they are known. If we know their radii and we know their mass, then we can talk about their density and what their likely composition is. "It's like we're making a treasure map", Guerrero said. It will collect about 27 gigabytes per day - that's about 6,500 song files - and send data back every two weeks. "People are very interested in looking for, what on Earth, are bio-signatures, such as methane, carbon dioxide, water vapour and oxygen". This could be how planets that support life are found. Combined, those data will help scientists characterize the planet: Is it a small, rocky world like Earth? "They appear to be everywhere we look".

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