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Centauri Dreams

Finding Alpha Centauri

8 Nov 2019, 18:04 UTC
Finding Alpha Centauri
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

It’s always breathtaking to see the band of the Milky Way under good viewing conditions. I remember so well the night I saw it best, about 20 years ago on a cold, absolutely clear night from a boat in the middle of Lake George. This is up in New York’s Adirondacks, and when I glanced up as we crossed the lake heading back to our hotel, I was simply stunned by the vista. When you contemplate what you’re looking at and think of yourself within that ghostly band, you feel somehow a deep connection to all the myriad processes that put us here as observing beings.
Now we have another fine view of the Milky Way, this time from TESS. The scientists working data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite have just given us a composite drawn from 208 TESS images taken during the mission’s first year of science operations, which ended July 18. Have a look at the southern sky, and realize what while TESS has found 29 exoplanets thus far, another 1,000 or so are in candidate stage and being investigated.

Image: This mosaic of the southern sky was assembled from 13 images taken by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet ...

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