Astronomers are particularly interested in finding an exoplanet like the Earth, and with the help of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, also known as TESS for short, we’re one step closer to getting there.
TESS has already identified at least 850 candidate exoplanets by their transit events thus far, and with the help of follow-up observations via other ground-based telescopes, at least 20 of those are now considered ‘confirmed’ exoplanets.
While astronomers are indeed searching for more worlds like our own because of their propensity to support alien life, they’re also searching for something known as ‘missing link’ planets, which are essentially brown dwarfs that ride the subtle boundary between a failed star and a gas giant.
As TESS continues its observations of the sky, astronomers are hopeful that we’ll happen upon important discoveries that will point us in the right direction as to how the universe works and whether we’re alone out there. With that in mind, one might say patience is a virtue.