Frontiers Lecture: Exoplanets and NASA’s TESS Mission main content.

Exoplanets and NASA’s TESS Mission

Part of Frontiers Lectures

Monday, February 10, 2020

Image of stars from NASA's TESS mission Credit: NASA/MIT/TESS

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched on April 18, 2018 with a mission to search for new planets outside our solar system. NASA scientist Elisa Quintana presents highlights from TESS' first year in space, and discusses how a gold mine of data from the satellite will further our understanding of space.

Please note: There is no late seating in the Hayden Planetarium Space Theater. Guests arriving after the program starts will not be permitted to enter the dome.

Meet the Presenter

Elisa Quintana is an Astrophysicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center working on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission that will launch in 2018 to search for exoplanets around nearby stars. She is also Deputy Project Scientist for Communications for WFIRST, a dark energy and exoplanets mission set to launch in the mid-2020s. Dr. Quintana worked at NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute for many years on the Kepler and K2 space missions to search for Earth-size planets around distant stars. In 2014 she led a team of astronomers to confirm Kepler-186f, the first Earth-sized planet found to orbit within the habitable zone of another star. Her interest in space research began when she was a student at UC, San Diego, where she was advised by former astronaut and physics professor Dr. Sally Ride. Dr. Quintana has since participated in the discovery of hundreds of exoplanets and is particularly interested in planets in extreme environments that were once only in the realm of science fiction.

Worlds Beyond Earth is dedicated to the memory of Charles Hayden in celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth and made possible by the generous support of the Charles Hayden Foundation.

Support for Hayden Planetarium Programs is provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Endowment Fund.

Selected Hayden Planetarium Programs are sponsored by JetBlue.