The new TESS telescope has recorded the transit of a small comet
NASA’s new TESS telescope has not yet begun scanning the sky for extrasolar planets in earnest, and it has already sent interesting footage of the passage of a small comet. The footage was recorded by chance during testing of the instrument.
On July 25, the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) telescope began its search for exoplanets, but before that, NASA specialists made several probnych observations, designed to test the satellite’s ability to collect a set of stable images of theoin covering a wide area of the sky. It just so happened that during these testsow, the telescope recorded the passage of a small comet.
During these proThe observations managed to take a series of images of the comet named C/2018N1 – first discovered less than a month earlier – on June 29. The comet is located about 48 millionow kilometersoin from Earth. In images taken by TESS, you can see its movement across the constellation Southern Fish (Piscis Austrinus). The comet’s tail can also be seen extending toward the gornej part of the image.
Oprocz comets, the images also show other activity. Stars appear to change color between white and black. This is the result of image processing. The displacement helps the wyroto capture variable stars, whichore change in brightness either due to pulsation, rapid rotation, or by the light being obscured by binary neighborsow.
Asteroids in our solar system are those little white dots moving in the field of view of the. Toward the end of the video, you can also see a faint, broad arc of light moving across the center of the frame from left to right. This light reflected by Mars, ktory is invisible in the recording. The images were taken during the great opposition of Mars, when the Red Planet was closest to Earth.
The entire sequence shows only a small part of the TESS field of view. These photos were taken just before the mission’s launch phase was completed – before scientific operations began.
The recording below is a compilation of a series of images taken on July 25.
GloThe telescope’s primary task is to search for extrasolar planets. The telescope is to focus on the search for exoplanets around theoł of stars relatively close to the Sun. Researchers hope that someore of them will be close enough to Earth to be studied in depth by available instruments.
As part of this two-year research mission, scientists have divided the sky into 26 sectorow. TESS will use four powerful wide-angle cameras to search 13 sectorow covering the southern sky during the first year of observations. The 13th sector will come under the magnifying glass next yearow poof the northern sky. In total, the observations will cover about 85 percent of the. sky.
TESS will search for stars thanks to the so-called. transit method. Will look for periodic decrease in brightness of 200,000 brightest stars near the Sun. A transit occurs when a planet passes in front of its star from an observer’s perspective, causing a periodic and regular decrease in the star’s brightness.
More than 78 percent. Of the approximately 3,700 confirmed extrasolar planets found using this method. More than 2,600 were located thanks to Kepler’s Space Telescope.