See The Incredible Footage Of A Comet NASA's Planet-Hunting TESS Satellite Spotted In Outer Space One Short Week After Launch

Tuesday, 07 August 2018 - 12:29PM
Space
Tuesday, 07 August 2018 - 12:29PM
See The Incredible Footage Of A Comet NASA's Planet-Hunting TESS Satellite Spotted In Outer Space One Short Week After Launch
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Pixabay Composite
You need to see this.

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched the official start of its mission to scan the skies in search of "strange, fantastic worlds." The first observations from the satellite are in and, while it may not be HD footage of a brave new world, there is... Something else.

NASA reports that on its first day (July 25) TESS ran a series of tests for the coming weeks and months of science operations. Over 17 hours, the satellite took images proving its ability to take stable images over long periods of time.

During this test, TESS captured some fantastic images of C/2018 N1, the comet previously spotted by NASA's NEOWISE satellite in late June. When strung together, the series of photographs shows the glowing white orb streaking from right to left.

The images also provide a fascinating view of the surrounding stars – including a few variable stars that appear to blink on and off, and some asteroids as they move across the frame.

There's more.

"Towards the end of the video, one can see a faint broad arc of light moving across the middle section of the frame from left to right," NASA wrote in a blog post. "This is stray light from Mars, which is located outside the frame." (Around the time the images were captured, Mars was at its closest to Earth, so it appeared at its brightest.)



This is incredibly promising footage, given that TESS took these images during a test and not during its actual operations. We look forward to all the crazy, new, and unique sights that the satellite will provide over the coming years.

New data will be transmitted back to Earth every 13.5 days – set your alarms and turn on those Google News push notifications so you don't miss a single one.
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