NASA's NEWEST Space Telescopes Reveal Massive Amounts of Distant Stars, Planets, and Galaxies

** NASA Just Unveiled Their Latest Space Telescopes, Revealing the Universe in Ways Never Before Imagined **

NASA has once again expanded our understanding of the universe with the launch of two new space telescopes, furthering our knowledge of distant stars, galaxies, and cosmic phenomena. The powerful telescopes, launched within a month of each other, have begun returning breathtaking images and hours of high-definition video from the near universe and far beyond.

The first of the two telescopes, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is a space observatory designed to search for exoplanets, the elusive planets that orbit distant stars. Capable of surveying the entire sky over the course of two years, TESS is on the lookout for those rare planets that pass directly in front of, or transit, their parent stars.

TESS's mission is to build upon the groundbreaking research of its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope, which detected thousands of exoplanet candidates and led to the confirmation of over 2,600 planets. TESS will continue this work, studying nearby stars across all solar systems and moving outward toward increasingly distant stars. With TESS, scientists will be able to measure the masses of small planets and determine the overall distribution of planets around other stars.

According to NASA, TESS has already identified 66 new exoplanet candidates during its initial 29-day search mission. Among these candidates are planets of various sizes, ranging from Earth-like distances to orbits nine times the size of our Sun.

The second telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, is arguably NASA's most powerful telescope to date and the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The James Webb Telescope is designed to study some of the most distant areas of the universe, as well as peering through dust and gas to see beyond the horizons of optical telescopes.

Unlike its predecessor Hubble, which detects wavelengths of light within the visible and ultraviolet spectrums, the James Webb Telescope specializes in detecting infrared light. This ability to detect infrared light allows the telescope to study wavelengths of light that typically get absorbed by atmospheric gases, enabling researchers to peer inside dust clouds where new stars and planets are being formed. This makes the James Webb Telescope an invaluable resource in the understanding of the formation and evolution of stars and planets.

Both telescopes were launched to space with some groundbreaking innovations. TESS was sent into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and, thanks to a unique orbital trajectory, will eventually settle into a stable orbit around the Moon. This will keep TESS orbiting just above the interference of Earth's atmosphere and away from the glare of terrestrial light, allowing the telescope to capture clearer images and follow the complete nightly orbits of celestial bodies.

The James Webb Space Telescope was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. Unlike TESS, the James Webb Telescope will not be orbiting Earth or the Sun, instead, it will park at a location known as the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point, a gravitational balance zone positioned 1.6 million kilometers from Earth. This location will keep the telescope in constant alignment with the Earth and Sun, allowing the sunshade to keep the telescope cool and its infrared detectors operational.

Both telescopes are giving us a new perspective on the universe, and their launch caps off a decade of remarkable progress in space exploration for NASA. With each new discovery, astronomers are able to answer some of the universe's mysteries while uncovering new mysteries to explore. As NASA scientist Thomas Zurbuchen said, "The best discoveries are ahead of us because of these two missions."

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