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NASA's TESS spacecraft is finding hundreds of exoplanets – and is poised to find thousands more


November 6, 2019

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Daniel Apai, University of Arizona and Benjamin Rackham, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

(THE CONVERSATION) Within just 50 light-years from Earth, there are about 1,560 stars, likely orbited by several thousand planets. About a thousand of these extrasolar planets – known as exoplanets – may be rocky and have a composition similar to Earth’s. Some may even harbor life. Over 99% of these alien worlds remain undiscovered — but this is about to change.

With NASA’s...

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