NASA's planet-hunting spacecraft created a spectacular panorama of the southern sky that shows off our home galaxy, the Milky Way. NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is an all-sky survey mission that been discovering thousands of exoplanets around bright stars near our solar system.
The US space agency unveiled the beautiful panorama of the southern sky snapped by TESS during the mission’s first year of science observations, that completed on July 18.
According to NASA, the southern panorama was constructed from 208 individual images taken by TESS, focusing on individual stars and planets, one at a time. NASA then pieced together the mosaic at its Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. While TESS was imaging the panorama, it discovered 29 exoplanets and more than 1,000 candidate planets astronomers are now investigating.
The Goddard video below shows how the mosaic was assembled and the locations of confirmed and candidate exoplanets found to date: