Science/Tech

New Spacecraft Made To Find New Alien Planets

According to astronomers and science experts, there are around 1,560 stars that are just about 50 light-years from Earth, and those stars are more or less orbited by their own planets, which can number up to thousands, possibly more. Per newer studies, around a thousand of these planets, or exoplanets, might have a composition that are similar to our own, with some theorized to even hold unique life on their own.

However, what we know about these planets remain very limited and small, and around 99 percent of these so-called exoplanets are yet to be studied, much less discovered in the first place.

That is, until now, when NASA’s newly revealed exoplanet-hunter space telescope TESS, which is specially built to scour the cosmos in search of new alien planets to discover, study and possibly even habitate in the future. To be used alongside ground-based telescopes operated by scientists, TESS will be reportedly orbiting the Earth every 13.7 days, and will be poised to find hundreds of new exoplanets over the next number of years.

According to NASA, the new space telescope can potentially give astronomers with a brand new understanding of how alien planets work, as well as provide proper scans to look for potential signs of life. In fact, the TESS has already proved its mettle since it has managed to find more than 1,200 planetary candidates in just over a year. Out of these, 29 have already been confirmed as planets by astronomers, the most out of any research of the same caliber. According to estimates, TESS could potentially find around 10,000 new worlds, based on its ability to simultaneously look at numerous stars and find any orbiting planets.

With that in mind, however, the search for a new Earth-like planet is still in the back burner since no new world is yet to be discovered. There were of course potential ones with the same size as ours, though further research revealed them to be nothing but huge chunks of rock, most of which don’t even have a half-decent atmosphere.

Nevertheless, this decade is priming itself up to be the one where we opened our eyes to other planets outside of ours, and the many possibilities they can offer.

Exoplanet Artist's impression of an exoplanet within the solar system's habitable zone. Pixabay

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