In search of new planets NASA teams up with Google





NASA has this week announced two new missions that it plans to launch in 2017 as part of Astrophysics Explorer Program. One of the missions is to search for new planets, and the other – in the study of X-rays emitted by neutron stars.

Search for new planets, the telescope will Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), developed by experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Google. The telescope is equipped with a set of on-board cameras and will conduct all-sky survey to study and detection of previously unknown extrasolar planets around bright stars. Its main purpose will be liveable terrestrial planets and the gas giants. For the detection of extrasolar planets TESS will use the methods and techniques that are currently implemented in Kepler (recall that it was he who found the smallest exoplanet Kepler-37B ), but at a significant scale.

TESS cover is 400 times more stellar space compared to other previous missions. He will find thousands of new planets in the solar neighborhood, which will be the size comparable to the Earth – said George Ricker of MIT.

The second mission of NASA is to monitor and measure the cosmic X-ray sources with a tool, called “investigator of the internal structure of neutron stars» (Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer, NICER). All the necessary equipment together with NICER will be installed on the ISS in order to analyze the composition of exotic matter in neutron stars.

The study of neutron stars will determine the most unusual state of matter – said NASA researcher John Gryunsfeld. – Telescope TESS, in turn, will find a lot of star systems with rocky planets located in the habitable zone. Only later will take over the space telescope, the James Webb.

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Tags: Google , MIT , NASA , Nicer , TESS .

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