Number of exoplanet candidates discovered by NASA’s planet hunter TESS telescope exceeded 5,000

(ORDO NEWS) — The catalog of candidate planets discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has recently grown to over 5,000 TOI (TESS Objects of Interest).

This catalog has grown steadily since the mission launched in 2018, and most of the TOI objects that made it possible to quickly pass the 5,000 figure were discovered as part of the Faint Star Search program led by postdoc researcher Michelle Kunimoto at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute, USA.

Kunimoto reflects: “At the same time last year, the TESS satellite only discovered just over 2,400 TOI objects.

Today, the observatory has been able to double that number – a great success for the mission and all the science teams analyzing data on new planets. I look forward to the discovery of several thousand more exoplanet candidates in the coming years!”

Currently, as part of an expanded mission, the TESS satellite observes the Northern sky and the plane of the ecliptic, including areas that were previously observed using the Kepler and K2 missions. The TOI objects cataloged in December are from the third year of the TESS mission, that is, from July 2020 to June 2021.

The TESS satellite re-observed part of the sky visible from the surface of the Earth’s Southern Hemisphere, returning to the stars that he first studied after the start of the mission, in 2018.

The discovery of new exoplanet candidates and their inclusion in the catalog of objects of interest of the TESS satellite is only the first stage.

In the coming months, astronomers around the world will study each of these TOI objects to see if they are true planets, and the TESS catalog of confirmed exoplanets (with 175 planets as of December 20) will continue to grow.

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