Exoplanet Hunter TESS will be launched by NASA today

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NASA's Kepler spacecraft used the same method to spot more than 2,600 confirmed exoplanets, a lot of them orbiting faint stars 300 to 3,000 light-years away.

Like Kepler, TESS will serve as a planetary population census giving astronomers a better idea as to the origin and evolution of planetary systems - including our own.

Kepler, who has discovered over 4500 planets and exoplanets, was placed on the Earth's orbit in 2009.

Most of the Kepler-identified planets are so far away that it would take monster-size telescopes to examine them more.

During its mission, TESS will analyse thousands of relatively nearby stars for planets orbiting the stars. These so-called "transits" may mean that planets are in orbit around them.

While Kepler's planets could only be viewed by telescopes in the northern hemisphere, TESS will discover planets that can be seen in the southern hemisphere.

Kepler stared at just one small patch of the heavens whose stars are up to 3,000 light-years away.

Earlier studies for other types of sperm have pinpointed a number of issues in space. "We're going to look at every single one of those stars, and that's the real science yield that we're going to have with TESS". If it notices any decrease in a star's brightness ("a phenomenon known as a transit") it will be a sign a planet is orbiting it, which will then allow for further examination, especially by the James Webb Space Telescope launching in 2020. The bigger the planet relative to the star, the deeper the the drop. For a long time, those were the only planets scientists knew about. The spacecraft then will adjust its orientation and spend another 27 days collecting another sector. "This is really a mission for the ages".

However, don't expect us to find another Earth overnight.

Sun rays, passing through the atmosphere are partially absorbed by the molecules in it.

These stars are smaller and cooler than our Sun, so it may be easier to spot habitable planets, said astronomer Tim Bedding of the University of Sydney. Once back on Earth, the samples will be unfrozen and tested to find out if the sperm cells went through the steps necessary for fusion and whether the samples were taken to space behave or are similar to samples that have undergone the exact same steps here on Earth.

Well, Pluto is still a planet, but now it is now considered a dwarf planet. After the launch, TESS would refine its orbit for two months before it starts data collection.

Follow-up observations by ground-based and space-based telescopes will help characterize the planets' sizes and compositions, and possibly analyze their atmospheres for signatures of habitability. "Just knowing that you're not alone".

TESS will have enough fuel to get into the planned orbit and to get its mission done for at least 2 years.

TESS's predecessor, the Kepler Space Telescope, also used the transit method to become the most prolific planet-hunter in history.