We’re Open Today
10:00am to 5:00pm

TESS Shares First Science Images!

by Dr. Lisa Will, Resident Astronomer at the Fleet Science Center

This week, the NASA spacecraft TESS released its first science images.  Launched in April 2018, TESS stands for “Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.” The goal of its planned two-year mission is to discover small, Earth-like planets using the “transit” method of planet detection, looking for small dips in the light of a star due to a planet passing in between it and our perspective from Earth.

So, what did this first set of images show us? The view is of a part of the sky most easily visible from the southern hemisphere of the Earth, including parts of twelve different constellations. The two large fuzzy blogs are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two small companion galaxies to our own Milky Way.  Some of the stars in this image are already known to have planets in orbit around them.

By the time TESS has finished its mission, it will have studied the light from approximately 200,000 stars and is expected to double the number of known exoplanets with what it is capable of finding. These new images are the first steps along TESS’ scientific journey!

Wishing you clear skies!

To keep up with the latest news about TESS, go to its website or follow it on Twitter:



Sign Up for a Newsletter

Train Time Campaign

Visit Us

1875 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 238-1233





Thank You

to our generous sponsors

City of San Diego


A rounded corner rectangle. The left side is bright blue and says 'Proud Partner'. The right side is white with the StemEcosystem logo.

Copyright © 2022 Fleet Science Center. All Rights Reserved.