Transcripts of 13710_TESS_Northern_Tour_1080

[Music throughout] TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, has completed its survey of the northern sky, marking the end of its primary mission. To do this, TESS divided the northern sky into 13 sectors, and its four cameras monitored each sector for nearly a month. With these extended views, TESS looks for slight dips in starlight when distant planets pass in front of their host stars. But it also caught short-lived events, such as a black hole tearing apart a star that wandered too close. It took a full year of TESS imagery to build this beautiful panorama of the northern sky. The bright band to the left is the Milky Way, our home galaxy viewed edge on. A large swath of the northern sky remains unmapped. For six sectors, TESS tipped its cameras further north to avoid regions where stray light from the Earth and the Moon would hamper the view. At the center is the continuous viewing zone. Here the view of one TESS camera overlaps across all 13 sectors, which means TESS monitored the region for nearly an entire year. At its center is the north ecliptic pole. This is where the imaginary axis of Earth’s orbit around the Sun meets the sky. More familiar to sky watchers is the north celestial pole. This is where the north end of our planet’s spin axis intersects the sky. The whole starry vault appears to revolve around this point, conveniently marked by the nearby star Polaris. To find Polaris, follow a line set up by these two stars in the cup of the Big Dipper. It’s an easily recognized star pattern that forms the central part of the large constellation Ursa Major. Following the arc of the Big Dipper’s handle leads to another prominent star, Arcturus. Located about 37 light-years away in the constellation Boötes, Arcturus is the fourth-brightest star in the night sky. New stars form in gas-rich clouds throughout our galaxy. The North America Nebula, named for its resemblance to the continent, is a prominent example. Located about 1,700 light years-away in the constellation Cygnus, it's part of a vast factory complex with enough gas to make 100,000 Sun-like stars. Peering beyond the confines of our own galaxy, TESS imaged the closest neighboring spiral galaxy. Visible by eye as a hazy patch, the Andromeda Galaxy, located 2.5 million light-years away, is a city of stars as vast as our own Milky Way. Astronomers have just begun sifting through the torrent of TESS data and are working to confirm planets among the thousands of candidates identified by the mission so far. TESS has already found a few northern stars hosting planets. One, named HD 191939, possesses a trio of Neptune-size worlds. Having successfully mapped about 75% of the sky during its primary mission, TESS is now working on extended duty. Its cameras have turned back to the southern sky to complete another yearlong survey, which will include areas not mapped the first time around. Now improved to return even more data than before, the best of TESS is yet to come. [Music] [Music] Explore: solar system & beyond NASA