NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has produced a giant new image of the southern sky, something constructed from more than 200 images captured during the mission’s first year.
According to the space agency, the panorama includes 29 of the exoplanets that were discovered by TESS, as well as more than 1,000 candidate planets that may join those 29.
TESS is often referred to as a planet-hunter — it is designed to look for exoplanets by conducting sky surveys using four cameras with a total of 16 CCDs.
Every 30 minutes, these cameras snap an image of an entire sector of the sky, according to NASA, which says the CCDs collectively captured more than 15,000 images over 30-minute durations.
That massive number amounts to more than 20TB of data on the southern sky where TESS spent its first year making observations.
All 20TB have been sent back to researchers on Earth; NASA says it’s the equivalent of having streamed around 6,000 HD movies.