AstroTalk Episode April 12, 2018

Dark Stars in the Early Universe. Planet Hunter TESS. Opportunity Rover 5,000.

2:08pm - 3:00pm

Types of dark stars could have existed in the early universe that contained a high concentration of neutrolino dark matter. These dark stars had a say on how stars would later form in the later universe. A little talk about gravity assists and NASA's gravity assist podcasts. TESS NASA's planet hunter has been launched. TESS stands for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and it will hunt for exoplanets by surveying the sky in a new way. TESS will divide the sky into 26 sections each 24 degrees by 96 degrees across. TESS's cameras will look at each sector for 27 days. TESS will study stars that are 30 - 100 times brighter than the stars that were studied by the Kepler Space telescope and cover a sky area 400 times larger than that monitored by Kepler.. Opportunity rover recently celebrated its 5,000 sol on Mars. A sol is a Martian day, and Opportunity was only built to last for about 90 days. Opportunity is now studying stripes in the Perseverance Valley. PV also holds rocks that were affected by Mars' winds. Opportunity is studying this valley for ancient signs of life on Mars.

The powerful cameras on the spacecraft will stare at each sector for at least 27 days, looking at the brightest stars at a two-minute cadence. From Earth, the Moon occupies half a degree, which is less than 1/9,000th the size of the TESS tiles.The stars TESS will study are 30 to 100 times brighter than those the Kepler mission