66 new Exoplanets has found by NASA satellite. NASA’s planet-hunter TESS has found 66 new exoplanets or worlds beyond our solar system during its two-year-long primary mission as well as near about 2,100 candidates on which astronomers are working to confirm whether they could be called planets.
Exoplanets are worlds orbiting distant stars. They orbit a star other than our sun. The prefix Exo is a Greek word which means outside; these worlds are far away from us, outside our own solar system. Near about 4000 exoplanets have confirmed by the Astronomers and at least 1000 more are waiting for confirmation.
NASA said on Tuesday that TESS stands for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and it scanned about 75 percent of the starry sky during its primary mission that ended on July 4.
Patricia Boyd, the project scientist for TESS at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said, “It is producing a torrent of high-quality observations providing valuable data across a wide range of science topics.”
“TESS is already a roaring success as it enters its extended mission.” TESS monitors 24-by-96-degree strips of the sky known as sectors for about a month using its four cameras.
The first year of the mission spent in observing 13 sectors comprising the southern sky and then spent another year imaging the northern sky. NASA said that now TESS has turned around to resume surveying the south in its extended mission.
In September 2022, TESS will complete its extended mission. It will spend one year imaging the southern sky and will take another 15 months to collect additional observations by taking images in the north and to survey areas along the ecliptic. Ecliptic is the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
A new world named TOI 700 d, is likely rocky, according to astronomers. It is located in the habitable zone of its star. It allows liquid water on its surface which shows conditions could be just right there. Temperature is not too hot or too cold there.
Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters said, “TESS was specially launched to find Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby stars.” Moreover, “Discovering TOI 700 d is a key science finding for TESS. Confirming the planet’s size and habitable zone status with Spitzer is another win for Spitzer as it approaches the end of science operations this January.”