TESS Southern Hemisphere Sector Images
NASA’s newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is now providing valuable data to help scientists discover and study exciting new exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system. Part of the treasure trove from TESS’s first year of science operations includes wide-field pictures of the southern sky. The images show each of the 13 southern sky sectors TESS monitored.
TESS acquired the images using four cameras; black lines in the images are gaps between camera detectors. Some stars are so bright they saturate an entire column of pixels on the detectors, creating long spikes of light.
TESS’s cameras, designed and built by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory and the MIT Kavli Institute, monitor enormous 24-by-96-degree swaths of the sky to look for transiting planets. These events occur when a planet passes in front of its star as viewed from the satellite’s perspective, causing a regular dip in the star’s brightness.
After two years, TESS will have monitored 26 sectors for 27 days each, covering 85 percent of the sky. On July 18, 2019, TESS completed monitoring the last of its 13 southern sectors, then turned its cameras to the north to carry out a second year-long survey.
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