But whereas Kepler was limited to poring over a small patch of sky during its primary mission, TESS will study nearly all of the sky in its two planned years of observations.
The satellite, named Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) started its mission last week and the American space agency said that Earth will receive first information from it as soon as August. As it approaches Earth, it will rotate, and transmit all its accumulated data to scientists on the ground.
"With possibly more planets than stars in our universe, I look forward to the unusual, fantastic worlds we're bound to discover", said Hertz. The mission is expected to find thousands of new planets, some of which could potentially support life.
As of 20 January 2015 (according to the extrasolar planets Encyclopedia) reliably established the existence of exoplanets in 1900 1202 planetary system, 480 of which more than one planet.
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NASA's newest TESS spacecraft officially starts search for exotic planets, the agency recently announced the news. Over the course of the next two years, this important satellite will be closely observing several hundred thousand bright stars to learn whether their light dips from time to time, which is something that could indicate the presence of a planet moving in front of its parent star, a process referred to as transits.
TESS will send that initial data to Earth in August, with new observations arriving every 13.5 days after that, mission team members said in a statement.
The spacecraft is fitted with four powerful cameras each having a 16.8-megapixel sensor which cover a square 24-degrees wide, large enough to contain an entire constellation.
NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission, TESS, is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and led and operated by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In terms of participation, there are now over a dozen observatories and universities who are also keeping close tabs on the data obtained by TESS. In contrast, TESS is capable of scouring a much larger area, although it will focus on the 200,000 brightest stars from its orbit. The Kepler space telescope discovered over 2,000 confirmed exoplanets since its launch in 2009. 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, expanding our understanding of worlds beyond our own.