NASA’s TESS Creates a Cosmic Vista of the Northern Sky [Video]

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) spent nearly a year imaging the northern sky in its search for worlds beyond our solar system. Explore this panorama to see what TESS has found so far.

Familiar stars shine, nebulae glow, and nearby galaxies tantalize in a new panorama of the northern sky assembled from 208 images from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

Within this starry scene, TESS has discovered 67 new exoplanets. Astronomers are sifting through some 1,200 additional exoplanet candidates, potential new worlds that await confirmation. More than 600 of these candidates lie in the northern sky.

The northern mosaic covers less of the sky than its southern counterpart, which was imaged during the mission’s first year of operations. For about half of the northern sectors, the team decided to angle the cameras further north to minimize the impact of scattered light from Earth and the Moon. This results in an obvious gap along the mosaic’s outer edge.

TESS has now begun its extended mission, during which it will spend another year imaging the southern sky. The satellite will revisit planets discovered in its first year, discover new worlds, and fill in coverage gaps from its initial survey. Improvements to the satellite’s data collection and processing now allow TESS to return full sector images every 10 minutes and measure the brightness of thousands of stars every 20 seconds – all while continuing its previous strategy of measuring the brightness of tens of thousands of stars every two minutes.

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