NASA’s TESS mission, which will survey the entire sky over the next two years, has already discovered three new exoplanets around nearby stars. Image: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, edited by MIT News

TESS discovers its third new planet, with longest orbit yet

Using NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, scientists have discovered third small planet outside our solar system. Dubbed as HD 21749b, the planet orbits a bright, nearby...
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) took this snapshot of the Large Magellanic Cloud (right) and the bright star R Doradus (left) with just a single detector of one of its cameras on Tuesday, Aug. 7. The frame is part of a swath of the southern sky TESS captured in its “first light” science image as part of its initial round of data collection. Credits: NASA/MIT/TESS

NASA’s TESS shares first science image in hunt to find new worlds

NASA’s newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) have recently captured a detailed picture of the southern sky taken with all four of...
This sequence is compiled from a series of images taken on July 25 by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. The angular extent of the widest field of view is six degrees. Visible in the images are the comet C/2018 N1, asteroids, variable stars, asteroids and reflected light from Mars. TESS is expected to find thousands of planets around other nearby stars. Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA’s planet-hunting TESS catches a comet before starting science

Before NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) science activities on July 25, 2018, the planet hunter sent back a dazzling grouping of fortunate pictures...
This artist’s concept shows how a few individual waves travel through a hypothetical star that has an orbiting planet. Credit: Gabriel Perez Diaz/Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias

Symphony of stars: The science of stellar sound waves in space

Astronomers suggest that the stars in space play continuous sounds like a concert. The biggest stars make the lowest, deepest sounds, like tubas and double...
This is an artist's impression of the Jupiter-size extrasolar planet, HD 189733b, being eclipsed by its parent star. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have measured carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the planet's atmosphere. The planet is a "hot Jupiter," which is so close to its star that it completes an orbit in only 2.2 days. The planet is too hot for life as we know it. But under the right conditions, on a more Earth-like world, carbon dioxide can indicate the presence of extraterrestrial life. This observation demonstrates that chemical biotracers can be detected by space telescope observations. Credits: ESA, NASA, M. Kornmesser (ESA/Hubble), and STScI

NASA’s Webb space telescope to inspect atmospheres of gas giant exoplanets

In April 2018, NASA propelled the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Its fundamental objective is to find Earth-sized planets and bigger "super-Earths" revolving nearby...