Firsts for NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)
Friday, January 10, 2020
Data captured from TESS, which is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by MIT and managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, has been keeping astronomers busy, leading to some incredible discoveries recently announced.
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered its first Earth-size planet in its star's habitable zone, the range of distances where conditions may be just right to allow the presence of liquid water on the surface. Scientists confirmed the find, called TOI 700 d, using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and have modeled the planet's potential environments to help inform future observations. Full story: NASA Planet Hunter Finds its 1st Earth-size Habitable-zone World
Astronomers using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) have shown that Alpha Draconis, a well-studied star visible to the naked eye, and its fainter companion star regularly eclipse each other. While astronomers previously knew this was a binary system, the mutual eclipses came as a complete surprise. Full story: Surprise! TESS Shows Ancient North Star Undergoes Eclipses
TOI 1338 b, as it is now called, is TESS’s first circumbinary planet, a world orbiting two stars. The discovery was featured in a panel discussion on Monday, Jan. 6, at the 235th American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu. Full story: NASA’s TESS Mission Uncovers Its 1st World With Two Stars