October 24, 2021

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NASA planet hunter spied 2,200 candidate worlds in its first 2 years

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A NASA spacecraft built to spot alien worlds has completed its first two years of work, and the tally is in: the mission hauled in 2,241 new exoplanet candidates for scientists to study.

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched in April 2018, designed to spend two years poring over most of the sky. Each month, the spacecraft turns to a new strip of stars and stares, watching for the characteristic dips in brightness caused by a planet crossing between star and telescope. In a new catalog, astronomers offer a detailed view of a host of planet candidates the spacecraft identified in its first two years of work.

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