A new “exoplanet hunter”, the space telescope TESS opened its first planet. It turned out to be a super-Earth, circulating near the sun-like star at a distance of 60 light-years from the Sun, says an article published on the portal ArXiv.org
Space Telescope TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) is positioned as a partial replacement of the Kepler telescope, which has almost completely developed its resource. TESS was launched into space in April 2018 and is designed to search for exoplanets by the method of transit photometry, he tracks the change in the brightness of the star during the passage of the planet along its disk. The main goals of the telescope are bright stars and their systems, remote from the Earth at a distance of 30 to 300 light years. Candidates for exoplanets will become targets of other observatories, both terrestrial and orbital (for example, the James Webb space telescope), which will engage in detailed study of objects. TESS is equipped with four telescopes with a matrix of 16.8 megapixels, each of which has a field of view of 24 to 24 degrees. Once in 27 days the telescope will change the observation zone and in two years of the main mission will create a map covering 85 percent of the entire celestial sphere.
In May, TESS sent his first picture to Earth, but officially started work only at the end of July. In early August, the telescope, with the help of all its four cameras, received the first scientific photograph, following for 30 minutes a portion of the sky in the southern hemisphere. The other day, a group of astronomers led by Chelsea Huang from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported on the first telescope discovered by the telescope. The discovery was made when analyzing the data collected by the telescope during the period from July 25 to August 22, 2018, is not a false signal or possible eclipse of the star by another star and was subsequently confirmed on the basis of data from ground-based telescopes.
The newly discovered exoplanet π Men c is in the system of the bright star Pi Table Mountain (π Mensae), which belongs to the class of yellow dwarfs and is located about 60 light-years from the Earth. Earlier it was already known that around the star, with a period of 5.7 years, the gas giant π Men b turns with a mass of about 4.9 masses of Jupiter. The mass estimate for π Men c is about 4.9 times the mass of the Earth, which puts it in the category of super-Earth, she makes one revolution around her star in 6.27 days. It is assumed that the planet can be similar to the mini-Neptune, that is, it contains a large number of light substances such as water, methane, hydrogen and helium, in addition to its stone-iron core. The star itself, together with its planetary system, can be a good target for the future James Webb space telescope, the launch of which has been postponed several times and is now scheduled for 2020.
Earlier, we talked about where astronomers found the most dense super earth, why all the planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system were recognized asearth-like, and how the red dwarf with the planet “monster” did not fit into the expectations of astronomers.