NASA’s planet hunter TESS mission discovers new Planets; raises its count to 203
Washington, Jan 8: NASA's planet-hunting telescope TESS has found an found three confirmed exoplanets, or worlds beyond our solar system, i.e three times the size of Earth only 53 light-years away.
It has also discovered a super-Earth and a rocky world, making three exoplanet discoveries in the first three months since it began surveying the sky in July.
The researchers also detected hints of another, smaller planet in the system, a planet that would have an orbital period of 7.8 days. If this world is confirmed, it will be the first roughly Earth-size planet found by TESS.
TESS has already discovered 203 possible planets, according to George R. Ricker, an astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the leader of the project. Three of those candidates already have been confirmed as real planets by ground-based telescopes.
Launched in April 2018, TESS began science operations in July last year, surveying the sky from a "lunar resonant orbit," and has now completed observations of six sectors, each monitored for 27 days at a time. By the time the mission is done, TESS's wide-field cameras will have covered the whole sky in search of transiting exoplanets around 200,000 of the nearest (and brightest) stars.