#TESS - find all the planets!
TESS is an observatory made up of an instrument (the four cameras and related technology) on a spacecraft. In this case the instrument is on an @OrbitalATK@twitter.com LEOStar-2 series built for the mission. https://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/insideOA/OrbitalATK-TESS/default.aspx?prid=283
A great image for thinking about parts involved in a spacecraft observatory like #TESS. The Falcon 9 carries it up, the Orbital LEOStar-2 is the ship, the science instrument collects the data. There's also ground-based infrastructure, like the Deep Space Network radio antennas.
The Deep Space Network (DSN) "consists of three facilities spaced equidistant from each other – approximately 120 degrees apart in longitude – around the world... Goldstone, near Barstow, California; near Madrid, Spain; and near Canberra, Australia." https://twitter.com/dsn_status/status/985956920405254150
Non-human residents around the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex. https://www.cdscc.nasa.gov/Pages/gallery.html
#TESS is a cooperative like all space science. Lead institution is @TESSatMIT@twitter.com. @MITLL@twitter.com does cameras. @NASAGoddard@twitter.com project management, sys engineering, mission assurance. @OrbitalATK@twitter.com builds/operates spacecraft. Others include @MIT_Physics@twitter.com, @NASAAmes@twitter.com, @firstname.lastname@example.org, @email@example.com, @MAST_News@twitter.com.
This is what Venus looked like as it crossed in front of the Sun in 2012, that's also a transit. https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/venus-express/venus-transit
What does another star actually look like to a telescope like @NASAKepler@twitter.com? Not like the artistic images of exoplanets around stars you usually see but like this target pixel image of #TRAPPIST1. (NASA Ames/G. Barentsen)
Here is an artist's impression of the #TRAPPIST1 planetary system. (ESO/M. Kornmesser)
A series of images taken "with the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) on the Gemini South telescope in Chile shows the exoplanet β Pic b orbiting the star β Pictoris, which lies over 60 light-years from Earth." (image: M. Millar-Blanchaer, @UofT@twitter.com ; @AllPlanets@twitter.com, @SETIInstitute@twitter.com)
So what types of images will TESS take to search for exoplanets? Every two seconds TESS will take images for guidance, but every two minutes TESS will download little "stamps" around stars that might have the kind of planets scientists are looking for. https://tess.mit.edu/science/observations/
"We’re trying to find planets that are Earth analogs, meaning they'll be Earth-like in their characteristics, such as size, mass, and so on. That means we want to find planets with atmospheres, with gravity similar to Earth's." http://www.kavlifoundation.org/science-spotlights/to-seek-out-new-life-how-tess-mission-will-accelerate-hunt-livable-alien-worlds#.WtfPG8gvw2x
.@NASA_TESS@twitter.com is talking to @CanberraDSN@twitter.com right now. 🛰🌏
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