USQ Astronomers To Begin New Exoplanet Observations

Following a successful launch of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), USQ astronomers will be ready to begin planetary observations .

The TESS launch will mark a major expansion of the search for planets beyond the Solar system and is expected to catalogue thousands of exoplanets in addition to those already discovered by the Kepler mission.

NASA image

USQ will play an important role as host to the only Southern Hemisphere site fully dedicated to collecting and analysing ground-based observations – the MINERVA-Australis project at Mount Kent Observatory.

USQ astronomers will be watching the launch live on-campus. (Deferred from Monday, April 16, at 6.32pm in Florida (Tuesday, April 17, at 8.32am AEST) now rescheduled to Wednesday (Thusday April 19 at 8.51am AEST).

The launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) —  from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station — has been delayed by at least 48 hours due to an issue with the spacecraft’s rocket ride, a SpaceX Falcon 9.

“Standing down today to conduct additional GNC analysis, and teams are now working towards a targeted launch of @NASA_TESS on Wednesday, April 18 (Thursday April 19 at 8.51am AEST)”,SpaceX representatives wrote on Twitter. (“GNC” stands for “guidance, navigation and control).”

About TESS

Submitted by:
Laura Hunt
Email: [email protected]

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