The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, one of the newest projects from NASA, has made the first discovery in its attempts to find exoplanets across the universe. The TESS satellite has discovered what now has been called the Pi Mensae c. Pi Mensae c is an exoplanet that has similarities to the Earth in many aspects, despite a smaller structure. While it’s unlikely that the planet would sustain life, it can have other importance in the history of exoplanets. On record, Pi Mensae c is the first exoplanet that the TESS satellite has discovered as a part of the long mission.
NASA had launched the TESS in the last April, but the satellite started its operations after a few months, on July 25. Since then, this planet-hunting satellite has been searching for various exoplanets that have been in the universe for some time. Apparently, after taking a wonderful photograph and sending it to NASA team, Pi Mensae c was the first to grab proper attention by TESS. In the published study, the authors said about the project that ““TESS has begun to fulfil its promise to enlarge the collection of small, transiting planets orbiting bright stars. Such stars enable precise measurements of that planet’s mass and radius.”
Considering that the TESS was launched with much expectations, the discovery of Pi Mensae c is promising for the team and the NASA itself. The way TESS helps the team understand exoplanets is quite interesting in many aspects. The powerful optical telescopes that TESS is equipped with are always scanning around the space to find out exoplanets. The information, which is passed onto the NASA Astronomer team, will be taken into further analysis to know whether an identified object conforms with the conventions. If the analysis process succeeds, the identification process would conclude as well.