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SpaceX launches NASA planet

In a modest mission uk moncler outlet with the grandest cheap moncler jackets womens of intentions, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched a planet hunting satellite for NASA Wednesday that will measure the light from millions moncler online store of stars, on the lookout for indications of Earth like, potentially habitable worlds scattered across the nearby Milky Way.

Building on the legacy of NASA’s trail blazing Kepler mission, which discount moncler jackets showed that exoplanets are commonplace, the $337 million Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, will study moncler outlet store vastly more stars across 85 percent of the sky in a bid to pinpoint thousands of new planets with the emphasis on Earth size or slightly larger.

„People have always wanted to know are we alone in the universe,” said Paul Hertz, director of astrophysics at NASA Headquarters. „Up until 20 years ago, we didn’t know of any planets beyond our own solar system. Now, we know that for every star in the sky that moncler sale outlet you look at, there’s probably a family of planets around it.

„Missions like TESS will help us cheap moncler jackets keep learning so that eventually we can answer the question, are we alone? Or do we just have the best prime real estate in the galaxy?”

A look at the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch on Wed., cheap moncler coats mens April best moncler jackets 18, 2018. EDT (GMT 4), climbing away to the east through a cloudless sky. The launching came two days late to carry moncler outlet prices out additional guidance, moncler outlet sale navigation and control analysis.

After boosting the rocket out of the dense lower atmosphere, the first stage fell away and flew back to a landing on the deck of an off shore drone ship. The launching marked SpaceX’s eighth so far this year and the 53rd of a Falcon 9 overall. The company’s landing record now stands at 24 successful booster recoveries, 12 on land and 12 on the deck of a ship.

Photo from a camera on the Falcon 9 rocket looking down to the droneship after touchdown on Wed., April 18, 2018.

The Falcon 9’s second stage completed the first of two planned „burns” a little more than eight minutes after launch, about 20 seconds after the first stage completed its landing.

Once on station, TESS’s four 16.8 megapixel cameras, each equipped with four state of the art CCD detectors, will spend at least two years monitoring starlight across the southern and then northern skies, on the lookout for the tell tale dimming that occurs moncler sale online when a planet moves in front of its host star a transit as viewed from the spacecraft.

The TESS satellite, built by Orbital ATK, is built around a suite of four state of the art digital cameras that will monitor the light from countless stars, searching for the tell tale dimming that occurs when moncler outlet online a planet moves in front.

By carefully studying how the light dims and then brightens, astronomers analyzing TESS data will be able to detect the presence of worlds around countless stars across 85 percent of the sky, ranging from Earth size planets to so called „super Earths” and on up the scale to moncler sale gas giants as large or larger than Jupiter.

But the goal is to identify stars hosting relatively small, rocky Earth like planets orbiting in the habitable zones of their suns at distances that allow water to exist as a liquid, a requirement for life as it is known on Earth.

Prime candidates from TESS’s survey will, in turn, be studied in detail by NASA’s powerful James Webb Space Telescope after its launch in 2020, by an upcoming European Space Agency space telescope and follow on spacecraft as well as huge ground based observatories currently under construction.

„You can think of TESS as the finder scope for the James Webb Space Telescope,” astrophysicist Padi Boyd, TESS deputy project scientist, told CBS News. „TESS is basically the discoverer, it’s going cheap moncler jackets mens to find the really exciting planets that we can then follow up with powerful telescopes.”

Hertz said with those larger telescopes, „we’ll be able to look uk moncler sale for tell tale signs in the atmospheres of those planets that might tell us what the planets are made of and perhaps even whether they have the kinds of gases that on Earth are an indication of life.”

„TESS itself will not be able to find life beyond Earth,” he said, „but TESS will help us figure out where to point our larger telescopes in that search.”

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets away from Cape Canaveral, boosting NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite into space.

Since its launch in 2009, NASA’s Kepler space cheap moncler sale telescope, which also monitored moncler outlet shadow transits, has discovered thousands of exoplanets in a target area much smaller than TESS’s. Based on statistical analysis, astronomers now believe virtually every star in the Milky Way hosts, or once hosted, one or more planets.

Built by Orbital ATK, TESS was designed to take the moncler womens jackets search for exoplanets moncler outlet to another level, vastly expanding the number of stars monitored.

TESS’s four cameras are arranged to shoot 24 degree wide squares stretching from the celestial equator to the poles, spending 27 days to collect a single 96 degree long sector. The spacecraft then will adjust its orientation and spend another 27 days collecting another sector. And so on.

During a 27 day observation period, TESS will monitor the brightness of every star visible in all moncler usa four MIT built cameras every half hour. Fifteen thousand stars in each sector, selected before launch as prime candidates to host exoplanets, will be monitored every two minutes.

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite TESS during solar array testing.

It will take a year to collect the moncler uk outlet 13 sectors needed to map the southern sky and another year to map its northern counterpart.

By the end of its initial two year mission, TESS will have measured starlight across 85 percent of the sky. And unlike Kepler, the new observatory is optimized to study light from the most common stars in the moncler outlet woodbury galaxy, reddish M dwarfs that are smaller and cooler than Earth’s sun.

„We’re very sensitive to cool stars,” said George Ricker, TESS principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. „It turns out that the majority of the stars in the Milky Way are cool stars that have a temperature about half that of the sun.