NASA launches telescope to search for extraterrestrial life

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NASA запускает телескоп для поиска внеземной жизниTESS will be able to find exoplanets, remote enough from their parent stars.

New space telescope of NASA to observe 200 thousands of bright stars that are relatively close to the Sun. With the help of it the researchers plan to track the astronomical transits (passing) phenomenon in which a planet or other large body obscures the star around which it revolves. The transit method allows to determine the size of the planet, its density and composition of the atmosphere.

TESS has a mirror diameter of 6.5 meters, which allows it to gather much more light than it can capture the Hubble Space Telescope. Although the ground system used for these studies are able to examine larger areas of the sky, the Earth’s atmosphere greatly limits the quality of their data. So they can fix the drop in brightness of only one percent, while rocky planets may reduce the gloss level of stars only a fraction of a percent.

Thus, TESS is able to locate the exoplanets, remote enough from the parent star that they could have liquid water and, consequently, living organisms.

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