NASA Discusses Upcoming Launch of Next Planet Hunter

NASA Discusses Upcoming Launch of Next Planet Hunter

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I'm Paul Hertz today, we'll be touching pests. NASA's, next, planet, hunter tests. Will discover thousands. Of planets around other stars and help, NASA in his search for life beyond, Earth. I'm. Sara Seager tests. Will find planets, of all sizes. Big. Test. Will find planets, of all sizes bigger, than Earth around. Nearby bright stars building. On Kepler discoveries. I'm. George Ricker using. The four ultra-sensitive, wide, field cameras, on tests, the. Mission will look, at millions, of stars, for. Small. Drops, temporarily. In brightnesses, as their, as. There are passing, exoplanets. I'm. Jeff Allison and Tess, is currently down at the Kennedy Space Center where we're doing the final, preparations. And check-out before we get ready to launch on a falcon 9 rocket on, april 16th, after. The relaunch will spend the first two months doing a checkout on orbit make sure this satellite works properly and then we'll begin an exciting two-year, exoplanet. Hunting mission. Hi. Hi. I'm Felicia Chow and welcome to NASA headquarters, join. In on the conversation, by following us, on all our social media accounts. You. Can also ask questions during. The Spree thing by using the hashtag ask NASA. And. You, can learn more about tests, on our website, at Slash, tests. Before. We start the conversation, let's. Learn more about this wonderful, mission. In. The, last few decades we. Have found thousands. Of worlds around other stars a new. NASA astrophysics. Mission will help us find many, more. Tests. Transiting. Exoplanet, survey satellite. It's, being led out of MIT and it's going to find thousands, of new planets orbiting bright nearby, stars and it's, going to build, upon the legacy of the Kepler mission only, it's going to focus on nearby, right stars that are sprinkled across, the whole sky and it's, going to help us answer a really important question and that is which, of our near stellar neighbors has, planets. During. Its two-year survey. Tess, will look for signs of planets ranging. From earth size to, Giants larger, than Jupiter. Tess. Will search for these new worlds or, exoplanets. Using. Transits, the, same method as the Kepler mission as. A. Planet, passes in front of its star it, blocks some of the light causing. A slight drop and brightness. TAS. Can detect, those subtle, dips and even. Use them to determine some, basic, features of the planets such, as their size and orbit. Each. Of Tess's cameras has a 16 point eight megapixel. Sensor covering. A 24, degree square large. Enough to contain an entire constellation. Tess. Has four of these cameras, arranged, to view a vertical, strip of the sky called. An observation, sector the. Coverage. Of the test cameras, is unprecedented. In terms of the amount of sky that they can actually see at any given time and also of their ability, to cover, such. A broad portion. Of the sky the. Types. Of targets, that tests will allow us to find will. Enclose essentially. All of the bright nearby, stars. TAS. Will watch each observation, sector. For about 27, days before. Rotating to the next one covering.

First The south and then the north to, eventually, build a map of 85% of the sky. This. Coverage, about. 350. Times what Kepler first, observed, will, make test the first exoplanet, mission, to survey almost the entire sky. Tass, will fly in a highly, elliptical orbit, that maximizes. The amount of sky the spacecraft, can image and is, carefully, timed with the orbit of the moon, it. Will spend most of each 13.7. Day orbit collecting, data and then. As it passes closer, to Earth it, will transmit that data to the ground. Because. Tess's observation, sectors overlap, it, will have an area near the pole under constant. Observation. This. Region is easily, monitored, by the James Webb Space Telescope, which. Allows the two missions to work together to, first find and then carefully study exoplanets. Since. Most of the exoplanets. Found by Tess will orbit bright stars missions. Like Webb will be able to measure the spectra, of Starlight, absorbed, by the planets, atmospheres which. Can indicate what they're made of. Ground-based. Measurements of, the test exoplanets, can determine, their masses. Combining. The masses with Tess's, size measurements, reveals, densities, allowing. Scientists, to better understand, the exoplanets, compositions. The. Thing that we're really excited about with tests, is the way that it'll actually build on the momentum that we started with Kepler so. Tess is gonna take that same search approach but apply it to the vast majority of the sky which still hasn't really been looked at in detail when searching for exoplanets and, by. Focusing, especially on planets, at orbit bright nearby stars Tess, allows us to start looking at things like planet composition, atmospheric, makeup and that, will then be crucial when we want to start looking around stars, are even further away and in deeper parts of the galaxy as well. Tess. Is the vanguard, of a new era of exoplanet. Study and will, forever expand. Our understanding of, worlds. Beyond. Our own. So. Paul can, you tell us more about how Tess is gonna help NASA's, and NASA's, search for life in habitable, worlds, sure. Tess, is gonna look for planets around other stars by, watching the slight, dip, in brightness of. The star as the planet, passes in front of it and. This will tell us which planets, we need which stars means to look at to, study those planets in more details so we'll be able to turn other. Telescopes. Towards those stars like NASA's. Upcoming James, Webb Space Telescope and. With, those larger, telescopes, we'll be able to look for telltale, signs in, the atmospheres, of those planets that, might tell us what the planets are made of and perhaps. Even whether they have the kinds, of gases, in their atmospheres, that, on earth are an indication of life Tess, itself, will, not be able to find life beyond, Earth but, tests will help us figure out where to point our larger, telescopes, in that search. Sarah. So before, besides, the field of view what's, the major difference, between Kepler. And tests, and the planets that they find well felici how the major difference, is that, Kepler pioneering, Kepler was, a census, mission essentially, discovering, and counting planets of all sizes and orbits planets and stars that are quite far away test. Is the natural next step by. Searching for planets, around very, nearby bright. Stars so that we can do the follow-up measurements, partly, that paul was talking about and by, doing those measurements, we hope to actually identify, all the worlds we've been dreaming about such.

As Hot super Earths that may have liquid lava lakes or water. Worlds, that may be 50% or more by mass water like, scaled up versions. Of Jupiter's icy moons or even rocky worlds, of all, different kinds and even. Maybe ones that have atmospheres thin. Atmosphere is reminiscent, of Earth's I should. Emphasize though, that Tess is sweet spot is for, planets transiting, small, stars small red dwarf stars called M dwarf stars that are half, the size of our Sun or smaller. Geoff. Can you tell us about, some, of the more exciting, components. About the test spacecraft, yeah sure Felicia happened to bring tests with me or at least a small effect simile so it's not really this small it's about 700. Pounds it carries about a hundred pounds of fuel on board and you, could see there's a graphic. That shows you how big it is with some people around it it's a little shorter than I am so the. Most important, thing about tests that you've been hearing about already is the fact that it has these four really cool currents, they were built up at MIT and they're the ones that rid this is the cameras that do the science this is where we find the exoplanets, so the. Cameras in the center to give you an idea about how big they are this. Is one of the lenses that didn't, pass inspection that. Would have gone in one of our cameras, and so this gives you an idea there are seven lenses, in each inside, each camera to bring all the Starlight into focus so, that we can collect the photons to learn about the exoplanets, so, beyond. That there's a shade around the outside of the cameras keeps, the Sun and the earth light and the heat of the Sun from, getting in where the cameras are so, that we can get a nice clean view of the sky without any interference from other light sources then, if you look around it's got solar panels like almost every other spacecraft and what, another, feature that points that stands out is. This large antenna, so, we spend about two and a half weeks staring, out at the stars collecting. Data about, transiting. Exoplanets, we've got to get all that data to the ground so we swing by the earth and this large antenna, allows us to download all of that data very quickly down.

To The Deep Space Network at NASA to collect, our images, so we can then go around and collect more science data the, only other thing to point out is down on the bottom we've got a propulsion system again. We carry about a hundred pounds of fuel this helps us get to our final orbit which then we can remain, in a stable orbit for decades once we achieve it, thanks. Jeff so. George can you tell us about what inspired, the test mission, yes. Beginning. In the 1990s, our. Research group at MIT, began. Developing, sensitive. X-ray, cameras, for, a variety of missions we were fortunate. Enough to fly on to Japanese, astronomy, missions the Chandra grade observatory from NASA and a, small Explorer, also from NASA called a high-energy, transient. Explorer, and one. Of the things that characterized. All. Of these missions was that they were using. See. CDs at that time that we're large and, so. Our project. Was to, make, the transition from, those. See. CDs at the size that we had there which actually. Weren't, much larger, than the than the CCD that you have in the back of your iPhone and we. Went from that to see, CDs that have, sizes. That are more like these and, as. You can see this is a wafer that was actually used to fabricate the actual. C CDs of that, test is flying, not. This particular wafer of course because it's got my fingerprints, on it but, it. Does it the size, is identical and one, of the things that you can see is because of the the, lithography. Patterns, that are in it makes a really, nice, series. Of colorful. Diffraction. Patterns the. Eight rectangles. That you can see in this, wafer. Are. The, exact. Size the CCD so they're more than a hundred times larger than the ones that you have in your iPhone and a single wafer this size could, actually in principle provide, the C, CDs that are needed for two of the test cameras, we've got a total of sixteen we, we, had pretty good yield but not quite enough that we could do it all in two and two wafers. Thanks. George so. Sarah we know that Tess is gonna measure dips of light as planets, go by a star, but, how do we know that the dip of light is actually caused by a planet, versus say maybe a small star or some other objects, well the test science science team will be working very hard to discriminate. Amongst. Light. Curves that are not from planets versus ones that are from planets and believe it or not in the field of exoplanets. Now we have this down to a science because. Of Kepler and many other transit.

Finding, Surveys mostly from the ground have really sorted this out so we monitor stars, long enough to try to see at least two dips, and brightness so we can put, it on a single planet and we. Actually, have been training. Team. Ourselves, a small team of people so far on simulated. Data that. Includes like binary stars and instrument artifacts and other things that would not be planet candidates and we use humans, and computers, to. Look at the light curves, and other data products to, practice. Finding the very best planet candidates for further study and that's what we'll be doing as soon as we get the real data that's. Very exciting. So. In the video it, was shown, that Tess's, orbit actually coincides. With the moon Geoff can you tell us a little bit more about that sure, Felicia and it's an orbit that hasn't been used before so, we're. Gonna be in a unique, first-time orbit that I think other missions in the future will end up using we're. We're synchronized, with the moon so the idea is that the, satellite, is traveling between near, the earth and out to the distance of the moon twice. Every lunar month so every two-and-a-half weeks it comes back through by, the earth you can see in the video there swings, by and then swings back out and the goal is that by, swinging. Out to the lunar distance, you can see that the moon is orbiting around the earth once per month and the, moon is tugging at the satellite, so, it tugs it one way and that as it comes around the other side it tugs it the other way and, what that means is in the end we stay in a nice stable, orbit, for decades, with no fuel, so, the fuel I talked about before is really to help us get to that orbit once, we're in the orbit we can survive for decades without any additional. Propulsion which makes it a great thing for science, you can continue to do science, for a long period of time so we can stare at the sky for two-and-a-half, weeks at a crack we, collect up all this exoplanet data that Sarah was mentioning, and then we swing back by the earth we stopped doing science, and we point that big antenna down, to the earth we get all those images down and then we swing back out for another two and a half weeks so the orbit is incredible, not only because we don't need to have propulsion, once, we get into that stable, orbit but also because it's great for viewing the sky and being able to do the exoplanet research for, you know that were destined. To do here, thanks. Jeff so. George, what, will a test science image look like and how soon will the science data be available. Okay. Well one. Of the things that we, did on, a very cold, night in, January. In Cambridge. From the roof of one of the buildings at MIT is to take an engineering, model of our camera up on the roof and just try to see how, well it would do and the image that you're seeing is. Exactly. What we did see in a two second, integration, so. It gives you a an, immediate, feeling, for how powerful. Tests, will be in, terms, of looking at at. Million, at thousands, of stars, in every single field that's what we're seeing here and in, millions, of stars around. The entire sky, one. Of the things that is. Characteristic, of tests is by, design, the. The. Cameras, actually respond, to a much broader range, of light. In fact, even going out into the infrared, and because, of the way, the cameras, were optimized, to, look for, red. Stars in the in the way that Sarah, described, you, know ninety percent of the stars that we, know of in the Milky. Way are. Our. Redder and cooler than then, is our Sun this. Is exactly, the thing that we wanted to do for this particular mission so, for as, we as we move forward with it we expect, that, once we're in smooth, operation. That, the test science images, will be released about two months after, they're acquired, and they're deposited, at the master, archive at Space Telescope, Science Institute. Paul. Why, can't we just send a probe to an exoplanet, well. Felicia the stars, are very far away even. With the fastest, satellites, we have now it. Would take tens of thousands, of years for, them to get to even the nearest star and. The stars that we'll be looking at with tests or many times further away than that so. Since. We won't be able to travel, there ourselves, we're. Gonna have to make do with studying them remotely, from, near. The earth in the moon with, satellites, like Kepler and upcoming test satellite. So. As you know all these beautiful, exoplanet. Videos and illustrations, we have are all religious, artist illustrations, so, why is it so hard to directly, image a planet.

So. If, the, reason is is that planets, are much fainter, than stars, the, earth is over a billion, times fainter than the Sun and in, addition, from. A distance, of light-years away the, earth looks really close, the sign in, order to take a picture of a planet instead. Of taking a picture excuse me let me just rephrase. That in order, to detect the light from the planet instead. Of just detecting, the light from the star we, need a very special, kind of detector. That, could block out the light from the star and leave, the light from the planet right, next to it and. The, kind of camera that can do that is called a coronagraph, we've. Started building those and putting them on telescopes, on the earth they, can block out the light to see planets as close, to the Stars to say Neptune. Is to our side but. If we want to see planets. As close, to their star as say the earth is to the Sun from, a distance, of many light-years away we're. Gonna need more powerful, telescopes and better, design, detectors. Than, we have right now, NASA's. Next. Great Observatory, after the James Webb Space Telescope. Would, be the W first mission. And it will phi a demonstration. Coronagraph, on it that would be capable of detecting, planets. Like Jupiter around, stars, like the Sun. So. Thank you all and before we go into the Q&A session, can. We go around, for. Some closing thoughts from, each of the panelists, starting with Paul I'm. Very excited, that we are now following up the Kepler, mission with the test mission Kepler, will be running out of fuel, sometime. This year, and, so it's perfect, timing that, will be launching tests to continue, the great activity. Of looking, for planets around stars other. Than our Sun and thinking about what. It might mean for life, in the universe. Well. What I'm excited about is just, backing up a moment for a moment when, exoplanets, was first starting as a field we, characterized. Individual, planets to the best we could then. With Kepler the community, astronomers, were able to find thousands of planets many, with very little detail and what we're all looking forward to now is like marrying these two fields having a lot of detail on specific. Ensembles, of planets over, and over again so we can move the field forward but. Mostly what I'm looking for is forward to is just getting the data. So. Well I'd like to sort, of not, exactly contradict. Something that Paul said but just sort of extend. From it a little bit more it's. True enough that these stars. And the planets that we're going to discover although, they're relatively nearby it. Would take a long time to get there the thing that I think about a lot a lot when I consider. The long-term. Historical. Implications of, tests is that, there are a hundred stars, within, 20 light-years of. Earth. That likely, have planets, and if. You could travel at. 20. Percent of the speed of light which people, it's, a little speculative, and maybe this doesn't happen until the 22nd, or 23rd century, I think, there's a high probability that, many, of. The stars, and planets that they're going to target are gonna be the ones that have been discovered, by tests. That's. This will be robotic. Missions. Not not, people but I. Think. The idea is the same. So. Now I guess, my excitement I'm definitely excited to see this thing launch after five years of working on it but I think one of the things I think about is with, every NASA mission, we try to engage the public right you want people to understand, why are we doing these missions what's, the science of the mission gonna help, us learn about the universe and one, of the things about tests that we thought about early on was how could we engage young people when I was young, nobody, had ever seen an exoplanet, we didn't even know there was maybe it's such a thing as an exoplanet, we might be alone as far as planets, in the in our, solar system might be the only one so what, we did is we put out a call to kids around the world to say hey why, don't you draw pictures of exoplanets, what do you think an exoplanet, would be like and I think the goal was to have kids start thinking about this idea that it could be planets.

Around Other stars and, that there could be life out there so, you see some pictures here of exoplanet. Ideas we got from children from around the world so, the goal was to collect them all up we put them on a thumb drive we, took it down to Cape, Kennedy and we glued that thumb drive on to the bottom of the satellite, so, that all those children's, exoplanets, will fly with tests. When we launched on April 16 and if, you're out there and you're like oh man that sounds so cool but I missed my opportunity, we. Do have still will on our social media sites we, do the ability for you to continue to send in your pictures so, if you really want to draw us an exoplanet, when you think it would look like sending. Your exoplanet, drawings and we'll make sure they get up on our social media sites so, that the everyone, can see them we're kind of building a gallery of all the photos that's part of what excites me is that idea of kind of engaging the public and getting people to start thinking more and more about exoplanets, and what we might discover. Thanks. Jeff, now we're gonna go ahead and move into the Q&A session, first, we're gonna go to questions, on social media we're gonna answer two questions, and then we're gonna go to the phone line and then. From there if anyone in the audience would like to ask a question please raise your hand and we'll give you a mic, so. For those who are watching online and you'd, like to ask a question through. Social media please, use the hashtag ask NASA. So. Kendra what do we have on social media today so. You have a two-part, question from, Skye and he's asking, will, test also be taking photos for potential, evidence of life from the newly found exoplanets. And if, so what, will be used to find any sort of heat or life signatures. As. We mentioned, it's a Finder test is a discovery mission tests will find thousands. Of exoplanets but. Test does not have the capability to look at the atmospheres, for signs of life and that. Will be the James Webb Space Telescope when, it launches we'll be capable of doing so. Thank. You. So. I, guess. This is a good follow up other. Than hoping. For, helping test find signs of life what. Are the things will James Webb do to, help test or work with tests once it's launched. So. The James Webb Space Telescope is. A very, large telescope. Right George showed how the, saw our guest Jeff showed the size of one of a George, showed it whoever, showed it right we have a size some of the lenses on the best cameras, over here and. And, it fits, in the palm of your hand the, James, Webb Space Telescope's. Set. Of mirrors, comprises. A collecting, area that's over six and six, and a half meters across so, it is much more capable, of collecting lots, of light and dividing. That light up into signals that allow us to learn things about the, versus looking, at so, one of the things that we'll be doing is looking at the, the. Planets, that are discovered, by tests it'll, if since we can't see the planets themselves would be looking at the Starlight as it filters through the atmospheres, of those planets if they, have atmospheres and James, Webb has onboard spectrometers. Which. Can divide the light up into its constituent, colors and we, can see what. Kinds, of gases, might be in those atmospheres. And so that, is how astronomers, will be able to use the combination of tests and James, Webb to, advance our understanding of not just how many exoplanets. There are or, how big they are or, how far away they are but, maybe what are they made of um, are they the lava world so are they water worlds, are, they rocky. Worlds, or thin atmospheres, like the earth and do they have atmospheres that, look like our atmosphere or look completely, different that's what we're gonna learn and we don't know the answer to that question yet yeah just another, as another point to Paul's. Expression. The. The fact that the tests, planets. Are going to be on average, 10. Times closer than the. Ones that were discovered, by, Kepler it. Means on average they're going to be about a hundred times brighter so, if you tried to do with. With. A. Telescope. Like Webb. These. Kinds, of observations from. The Kepler targets, six. And a half meters wouldn't do it Paul you'd have to figure out how to make a 65, meter telescope, in space working, on it so. And I think just from my standpoint one of the most exciting things is when James Webb or next generation, space telescope was first being designed no, exoplanets, had been found so, it wasn't part of its primary mission when we first started to think about it so the idea that this whole evolution, of exoplanet, research has happen within the timeframe that we've been working on the telescope and they we've been able to kind, of re use.

It And say hey here's another way you can use this incredible tool, to, help us learn about exoplanets, has been a really cool thing for it for the agency. So. Now we have a question from a reporter on our phone lines Mike. Cole from Space, Flight Insider. Yes. Hello hi. Go. Ahead and ask your question, yes. My question is for dr. Ricker. How, are the CCD. Cameras, that you developed, at MIT. New. Or special or different from the ones that say a backyard. Astronomer. Might use in their backyard. Telescope. They. Are. Significant. Both in, degree. As well as in scale, one. Of the things that is required for the typical C CDs that are, used. By amateur. Astronomers, I mean I happened to have been an amateur astronomers. Myself, and I know a little bit about how. Wonderful. The work is that amateurs amateurs, can actually, do even, following, a transient, transiting. Exoplanets, is, the C CDs that you can go out and buy are, typically. Very thin, in terms of the the. Way in which the light can actually interact. Because, the photosensitive. Depth. They're. Over the order of two or three microns, typically, the test C CDs are a hundred microns, thick and that's how, we're able to actually get out into the near-infrared and. Actually, see the peak of the emission, that occurs from the cool stars that. Test is going to be optimized, for the, other difference, is that the C CDs that were especially. Developed for tests, have, extremely low noise we, were able to push. The noise down a factor of ten below. What Kepler. Actually. Had with the electronics, that were available at the time that they were. Designing their instrument, and also, the pixels. Are quite large as you could see from the wafer that I showed. So. Next we're going back to social media but if anyone in the auditorium, would like to ask a question please raise your hand and we'll get you the microphone. So. We'll go ahead with social media and then we'll directly, go right after to the audience.

Sure. Benjamin. Is asking, can you expand, on how tests will build on Kepler's, discoveries. Well. Kepler. Was the first of its kind really and Kepler. Found all sorts of planetary, systems we didn't expect like compact, multiple planet systems and, these, super, Earths that are very close to the star and so many things but. How tests will build on it is first of all we have an idea of what we're looking for and we'll, know which systems when we find them that we can jump on to follow up to look at their masses, get a mass for them and look at their atmospheres, and just learn a lot more about them, the. Main way we're building on is just sort of more logistical, or programmatic because. Kepler ironed out like a ton of wrinkles, and how you go from although that data and the light curves and D trending and finding. Drops and brightness and associating. Those drops and brightness with planet candidates or just with junk or stars, or other things so, there's two ways we're building on Kepler. Okay. So we're. Actually gonna take one more question on the phone lines and then we're gonna go to audience so, we've, got Steve Borman from Reuters, Stewie, buy you on. Steve. Alright. Well we'll, hold off on that question let's go ahead to the audience. Angle. Of the, exoplanet, system, that, we see it what's. What's the effect of that on the problem. Well. It's a good question because we all just forgot to mention that transiting. Planets they go in front of the star and cause that drop in brightness of the star they have to be lined up almost perfectly so. Let's say 90 degrees or 87, degrees or you know maybe a little but. It's that very tight range but we're assuming and we think we know that all star. Systems, with their planets it's they have a random inclination that they're born at so we're not seeing most of them unfortunately and, the. Ones we are seen are just aligned, properly. This. One way we're looking at this the, systems around cool. Stars is, very. Helpful to us because on average the, planets that we're most likely to be interested in that are in the so-called habitable zone, are gonna be relatively close to their host star and that, increases, the probability that you'll get a transit, by, a factor, of two or three which which. Is is helpful in getting. Many more candidates. And the other mice well just to add one in more detail we're less worried about the systems will miss entirely because they're not transiting, more, concerned if you see one planet Transit are, there more planets in the system and because, the test stars will be so close we, can use other techniques like radial velocity to. Look for other planets in the same system even if they don't transit. Thanks. Now, we're gonna go ahead back, to Steve Gorman, from Reuters. Steve. Are you on yeah. I just press star 1 nothing happen, oh well. Glad to hear you yeah. Yes. Hi, thanks for taking my call sorry so. My, question is I believe that neccessity, expect, that they will find. 300. Or so, earth-sized. Or super earth-sized, exoplanet. With. The test which. Are and, mike my, question is. Whether. The, fact that their size, or super earth size is that does that make the likelihood, that they might be habitable. For life, greater. Than otherwise, and also, of those 300, or so or 500, expect to find how. Many of those might actually be. In. The so-called Goldilocks, zone well, I'll answer the first part and I'll leave the second part for George after but what's. So great about tests, in the sort of era of exploration of, exoplanets, is we don't have an answer to your question we're gonna answer that the, question is is an earth-sized planet, habitable, that means does it have liquid water or water vapor in its atmosphere or. As a super-earth sized one and a half times or twice does that be. Potentially, habitable we're gonna find that out by, getting the sizes and masses and atmospheres so we can answer that question for you later we don't know the answer in advance.

We've. We've done a series, of simulations. There have been some very, clever. MIT graduate, students who tried to answer, the, question through simulation, but we're really going to know know, the answer to that within, a few. Months after we after, we launch and, just to, add one more item to what, George was answering was about how many planets in the actual Goldilocks, zone as the, field evolves the, concept of the Goldilocks zone is also of, the, planet has a very massive atmosphere it's, gonna be in a different it, could still be habitable even if it's not in the Goldilocks zone so. We have to ask you with that excellent question to wait until a couple, years from now when we can give you a real answer. Thanks. Sara we're gonna go back, to the audience for any other questions oh. There. We go. The. Thing that was so powerfully, simple about Kepler is planet-finding strategy, was it looked at just one part of the sky for a very very long time and look for these variations Tess, of course is gonna open up the whole rest of the sky or most of the sky in this survey but that means that the strategy, for finding plans is different, you're not looking at the same stars for. The same amount of time so. I mean I would talk to me about the strategy, about about, we know how you're, gonna use that difference, and is this then optimized, for only finding planets with very short orbits. Well. I'll, answer a portion, of that you're, right I mean in, order for Kepler to look for earth sized planets. Orbiting. At the distance of the earth around a solar type star the, strategy. That Kepler used. Was. Spectacularly. Successful. The. Way that Tess is actually looking at it by by using these looking, at these stripes in. The sky for only. A lunar, month. Allows. Us to look for, planets. Orbiting. Cooler stars or which the, year, in, that system might only be you, know 10 or 12 10 days or 2 weeks or so but. In addition the. Area. At. The ecliptic poles that test will actually, stare. At, continuously. First, the south and the north over, the two-year primary, mission, that, period, will be for a year, and we'll, be able to extend two. Observations. That will be, ideally. Situated for, Webb to to. Look for atmospheric, structure, in those in those particular planets. So. Yeah just to summarize it's basically the same strategy with a few more complexities, added on yeah and and. Of course the, the idea that that. The planets, are, associated. With brighter stars is going to make everyone's life easier so you're not now, I wanted to play just blame Paul, about the six and a half meter telescope, this tiny thing that's called web but. -, for, ground-based observers. It's the same thing because they're pushing right, now to bill 30 and 40 meter telescopes, if they were to try to work only with the, planets, that were, the. Bulk of the planets that were discovered by Kepler they. Would be talking about having. To to. Make 2 or 300, meter telescopes. For the ground so it's a similar, problem. So. We're trying to help everybody. We're. Gonna go ahead and answer, a couple of questions on social media and depending, on time we may stay on social media, so. Kendra go ahead what, do we have. To. Detect planetary. Ring systems, around exoplanets. Haven't. Simulated, that yet George. I. Think. Things. Like tabby star, for example which, people may know about tests, will certainly funk be able to find systems, like that. It. Depends a lot on what the the ring structure or whether there are clouds of asteroids, I mean there's a lot of speculative. Ideas but, that actually brings back something, that I think we're. All acutely. Aware of I mean, Tess. Is an explorer mission there's a huge, discovery. Space, that. Is. Going to be opened up for the first time by tests I mean Kepler, looked at. About. A quarter of a percent. Of the sky and, that meant that the discovery, space is. There for the other ninety-nine, point. Seven five, percent of, the sky so, I think this that's that's, the real promise, that I think Tess actually had and even if we don't have an exact answer for you I mean the real answer is probably the Rings have to be pretty big however. All the data is made publicly available through, the mast archive, and anyone. Can. You look at the data you could be very sophisticated user, or we, believe our gate will eventually end up on a crowd sourcing platforms, like Kepler said so kids and stay-at-home, parents and retired engineers and everybody in between can actually be searching for rings and other things. We. Have about enough time for two more social questions sure. Kumar. Would like to know how, will we here on earth benefit, from Tessa's research. Well. Tess, is helping us explore our place in the universe people.

Have Always wanted to know are, we alone in the universe up until 20 years ago we. Didn't know of any planets, beyond our own solar system now. We know that at every star in the sky that you look at there's, probably a family of planets around it and most, of them probably have rocky planets, in the habitable zone, so, we've expanded our, understanding of, our place in the universe, missions. Like tests, will help us keep learning, so, that eventually we can answer the question is are we alone or. We just have the best prime real estate in the galaxy, and. I'll just add a more practical answer to that question too and that is that it takes a huge amount of pure science to. Enable really like life-changing discoveries. Like GPS, or, lasers, or medical imaging there is actually a whole collection of lists there but what I like about exoplanets, is it's. Just people, love exoplanets, it's, not you interstellar, or arrival, not, yet anyway but you, know it draws people into science, and it helps with STEM education and keeping the pipeline moving forward not so everybody will work on exoplanets but, so they'll go into other. Technology. Areas, and industry and defense and other things. Kendra. We have one more question on social media great. So. Mark wants to know how will you assess whether or not the testament, mission was successful. There's. A formal, requirement, that NASA has called a level 1 requirement. And that. That, means that the. Test team has. To establish. Not. Only detection. Of transits, but, measure. Masses, for at least 50, planets, they're better of, the size of. What. We refer to as a sub Neptune it's a planet that has less, than four times. The radius of the earth, this, requires, that there not only be the detections that we're going to make from the images, by actually, seeing the the tips in the light curve but, we then have to carry. Out follow-up. Observations. Including. Spectroscopy, that. Will actually allow, us to look at the, tugging. Of the planet, against. Its host star which causes, tiny, motions, in the Doppler shift from. Any emission. Lines or whatever features, that you get from the host stars so, that so that is a that is another aspect, of the program. That, we've, been charged, to carry out. And. That's all the time we have left thank, you so much for joining us if you have any more questions, please send, them to us using the hashtag ask, NASA, and, be. Sure to check out our very cool interactive, book and posters. On the ABCs. Of exoplanets, and learn. More about the test mission on our website at,, slash, tests. Also. Be, sure to visit us on all our social media platforms. Thanks. For joining us today we'll see you at launch on April 16.

2018-04-02 15:04

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