NASA Discovers Two New Planets

Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 10:18

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discovered two distant planets this week five months after its launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, officials said on Thursday.

TESS, made an early discovery of “super-Earth” and “hot Earth” planets in solar systems at least 49 light-years away, marking the satellite’s first discovery since its April launch, Reuters reports.

TESS is on a two-year, $337 million mission to expand astronomers’ known catalog of so-called exoplanets, worlds circling distant stars.

While the two planets are too hot to support life, TESS Deputy Science Director Sara Seager expects many more such discoveries.

TESS is designed to build on the work of its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope, which discovered the bulk of some 3,700 exoplanets documented during the past 20 years and is running out of fuel.

Photo: FILE PHOTO: TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is shown in this NASA photo obtained by Reuters on March 28, 2018. Courtesy NASA/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

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