The orbital telescope TESS, which began work last summer, first discovered an exoplanet with dimensions like that of the Earth. Experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Carnegie Institution of Washington, who are in charge of the mission, told about them.
The planet, named HD 21749c, is located in the star system from the constellation Grid, which is 53 light years away. This is a very hot world, the temperature on the surface of which, as scientists believe, reaches an incredible 430 ° C, and in such conditions there can hardly be any form of life. Now a lot of work is underway to establish the exact mass of the space object and its structure.
But this is only the first step: the project participants are confident that in the near future TESS will find many more Earth-like planets, some of which may turn out to be potentially habitable.
The purpose of the American TESS telescope is to observe the stars and their systems that are up to 300 light years away from Earth. During the allotted time, the device should analyze about 200 thousand stars and find exoplanets in their vicinity. If they are found, then other orbiting telescopes, in particular, James Webb, which is preparing to start work in the spring of 2021, will take up their further study.
How many exoplanets can be found?
After analyzing the data collected by various space observatories, including the legendary Hubble, NASA experts concluded that only in our Milky Way galaxy there are about 11 billion planets similar in size to the Earth.
Since 1995, it was possible to scientifically confirm the existence of about 4 thousand exoplanets, where life is possible. In addition, about the same are currently in the group of candidates and are awaiting confirmation.