Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite by Moon, illustration

Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite by Moon, illustration

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Credit: RAMON ANDRADE 3DCIENCIA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) by Moon, illustration. This satellite is NASA's next step in the search for planets outside the solar system, also known as exoplanets. TESS launched on 18 April 2018, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA, reaching the Moon on 18 May. It was placed in a highly elliptical lunar resonant orbit (P/2) to carry out its all-sky survey. The orbital manoeuvres took around 60 days and involved changing the orbit from the initial trajectory (yellow) to the more stable working orbit (red) resonant with the Moon (red). This view also show the four large angular cameras (black) that it uses to measure the intensity changes in the brightness of the closest stars to Earth as they are transited by possible exoplanets. The satellite's operations began in June 2018.

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