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After Kepler begins to dormant, NASA plans to let the "planetary hunter" TESS start looking for exoplanets

via:cnBeta.COM     time:2018/7/12 15:31:07     readed:346


On Wednesday, NASA said that the TESS spacecraft and its four cameras are "well-healthy" and are continuing to test "the scientific goals that began at the end of July." But NASA's previous "planetary hunter" - the Kepler telescope launched in 2009, is in a very different state - in fact, Kepler's fuel is about to run out.

On July 7, the Kepler telescope entered a "hibernation" state, and as the fuel began to run out, scientific operations were suspended. NASA said that there is still some valuable data available for download, so "hibernation" will allow enough fuel to send data back to Earth. If everything goes according to plan, Kepler will resume its mission on August 6th - but NASA expects it will "deplete fuel in the next few months."

As the Kepler telescope is about to run out of fuel, NASA is optimizing the performance of TESS to prepare it for the task of searching for exoplanets. When fully operational, the TESS detection range will be "400 times larger than the area detected by Kepler", which divides the sky into 26 different areas. TESS will observe 27 days in each region to find new exoplanets.

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