It „ is equipped with four very sensitive cameras that will enable it to monitor nearly the entire sky,” said George Ricker, the mission’s principal investigator from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which leads the project. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will have a working mission for decades, on a highly elliptical path around the Earth, following the footsteps of Kepler.
How TESS is working
“The types of planets that TESS will detect are revealed by a process called a transit. We can see the shadow, effectively, of the planet as it passes in front of its host star,” NASA explained. Over the first two years, something like 2,000-3,000 planets that are certainly below the size of Jupiter, and most of them below the size of Neptune are expected to be observed. “But it’s not just quantity; it’s quality as well – because the planets we do find will be bright enough and close enough to Earth that we really can do follow-up measurements with them,” MIT co-worker Jennifer Burt told to media. The next few years will see a new generation of super-telescopes come online. The successor to Hubble – the James Webb space observatory, is due in orbit from 2020.