More Extra-Solar Planets Will Soon Be Found

All creationists are horrified that today is the day the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launches its new planet finder. PhysOrg has an article about it: Are we alone? NASA’s new planet hunter aims to find out. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Are we alone? NASA’s new planet-hunting mission, poised to launch Monday, aims to advance the search for extraterrestrial life by scanning the skies for nearby, Earth-like planets. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is poised to blast off at 6:32 pm (2232 GMT) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from a NASA launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

At a total cost of $337 million, the washing-machine-size spacecraft is built to search the nearest, brightest stars for signs of periodic dimming. These so-called “transits” may mean that planets are in orbit around them. TESS is expected to reveal 20,000 planets beyond our solar system, known as exoplanets, NASA said.

As you know, creationists believe that the Earth was recently created as the only world in existence, in the center of a rather limited universe, consisting of the Sun and the Moon above the flat Earth, with the stars as lights set in a presumably solid firmament rotating around us, just below the glorious realm of Yahweh. Well, many of them have, ah, evolved in their thinking to accept the actual shape of the Earth, and that it is but one of the planets orbiting the Sun. That’s as far as most are willing to go, but some even accept that other planetary systems have been found. However, they insist that there’s no life out there.

Okay, back to PhysOrg. They say:

NASA predicts that TESS could find more than 50 Earth-sized planets and up to 500 planets less than twice the size of the Earth. TESS will survey far more cosmic terrain than its predecessor, NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope which launched in 2009, taking in some 85 percent of the skies. “TESS is equipped with four very sensitive cameras that will be able to monitor nearly the entire sky,” said George Ricker, TESS principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “That is about 20 times what the Kepler mission was able to detect.”

Wowie! After that they tell us:

Kepler, the first planet-hunting mission of its kind, “was launched to answer one single question: How common is a planet like Earth around a star like the Sun?” said Patricia “Padi” Boyd, director of the TESS guest investigator program at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center.

“It was designed to look at 150,000 stars in a fairly wide field of view without blinking, for four years,” she told reporters on the eve of the launch. “One of the many amazing things that Kepler told us is that planets are everywhere and there are all kinds of planets out there.”

But TESS is different. Boyd explains:

“So TESS takes the next step. If planets are everywhere, then it is time for us to find the planets that are closest to us orbiting bright nearby stars, because these will be the touchstone system.”

TESS and Kepler use the same system of detecting planetary transits, or shadows cast as they pass in front of their star. While Kepler confirmed some 2,300 exoplanets and thousands more potential planet candidates, many were too distant and dim to be studied further. With Kepler running low on fuel and nearing the end of its life, TESS aims to pick up the search while focusing closer, on planets dozens to hundreds of light years away. “TESS is going to dramatically increase the number of planets that we have to study,” said Ricker.

And TESS will make things even more uncomfortable for creationists. There’s more, but we’ve excerpted enough. You can read the rest for yourselves.

Meanwhile, at the NASA website, they have this: NASA Television to Air Launch of Next Planet-Hunting Mission, which says:

On a mission to detect planets outside of our solar system, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is scheduled to launch no earlier than 6:32 p.m. EDT Monday, April 16. Prelaunch mission coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency’s website Sunday, April 15, with three live briefings.

This is the website for NASA Live, where they’re having live news conferences and the actual launch — scheduled for about three hours from now.

The real news will come later, when more planets are found — and the creationists continue to squirm. We’re looking forward to it.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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22 responses to “More Extra-Solar Planets Will Soon Be Found

  1. I’ll be there, watching the launch, cheering the Falcon-9 onward.

  2. These many extra-solar planets will probably be mostly ‘hell holes’ of one sort or another. Nothing like planet Earth (well apart from the humans responsible for mass executions in the recent daesh caliphate or those responsible for modern day slavery and starvation in North Korea etc).

  3. I’m no creationist btw.

  4. Got a mile away from home when co-pilot (in car) saw SpaceX’s tweet saying the launch is postponed ’til Wednesday at earliest. Oh, well. All those undiscovered planets have been there for eons; what’s another couple of days before discovery?

  5. “@SpaceX
    46 minutes ago
    Standing down today to conduct additional GNC analysis, and teams are now working towards a targeted launch of @NASA_TESS on Wednesday, April 18.”

  6. Mark Germano

    “With Kepler running low on fuel and nearing the end of its life….”
    “the launch is postponed ’til Wednesday at earliest.”

    This is all because of Satellitekind’s sinful nature.

  7. Typical atheist rant, whether TESS finds 1 or 10 000 habitable planets is not going to make creationists squirm, when they find life on one of these planets you can celebrate.

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    Maybe Trump could have negotiated a lower price than $337M for a washer in space. Bonus, it would save his Fundie base of the truth about extra-solar planets they don’t really want to hear about.

  9. Herman Cummings

    Finding habitable extra-solar planets may be to treat to “creationist clowns” (yec’s), but is more of a confirmation of biblical creation. Just as Yehovah (God) told prehistoric mankind (Gen 1:28) to “be fruitful and multiply” and to “subdue” the Earth, on the Fourth Day of Creation Week, God created other galaxies and solar systems with planets for mankind to find and “subdue”. Since mankind was created to live forever, common sense should tell us that God gave mankind a near endless frontier to explore and to learn of God’s creative magnificence.

    Herman Cummings

  10. Herman Cummings, long time no see!

  11. Hi.

    Been waiting for something I could comment on…..

    Correction: Finding habitable extra-solar planets may be a treat

  12. Herman Cummings said ‘Finding habitable extra-solar planets may be a treat to “creationist clowns” (yec’s), but is more of a confirmation of biblical creation.’
    I am always amazed by the ability of creationists to make predictions after the event,

  13. Holding The Line In Florida

    Herman returns! We are not worthy!! Great to hear from you again! With great respect, Always fun.

    @ Retiredsciguy enjoy your time down here in the People’s Republic of Florida. In a month or so I will be transferring base of operations to Miami Beach. Looking forward to abandoning the Ark of Florida. Fifteen years is enough! You heading down just to the Space Coast or just exploring?

  14. Michael Fugate

    If only Adam and Eve had eaten from the tree of life instead, we could have lived unconsciously forever – oh wait, I think that is what heaven is for…

  15. @HTLIF: We spend some time each winter at New Smyrna Beach, which is close to the Cape. Watched many a launch and a few shuttle landings as well. Always fun! Looking forward to seeing a Falcon come back and land sometime. Looked positively cool on TV.

    A great place to view launches — SR 401 causeway at Port Canaveral, which runs east – west just north of the cruise ships. The view is across water to each of the launch pads, so unobstructed and without heat wave distortion; good for telephoto photography. We’ve been viewing from there since the fifth launch of the space shuttle.

  16. “Habitable” what does it mean?
    Does it mean that the laws of nature allow life to thrive?
    If so, there is no need for the supernatural for life.
    If it means that the supernatural has designed life, regardless of nature, then everywhere is habitable.

  17. BFD!!! They find exoPlanets! Now when they get around to building the Enterprise, let me know…not holding breath!

  18. Dave Luckett

    As I understand it, exoplanets are found by detecting a slight “wobble” in the star’s image, or by the slight dip in its luminescence as a planet moves across its face. That is, even the best instrument available cannot actually resolve the planet as a disk.

    I don’t believe a creationist has denied that exoplanets exist, on the grounds that nobody has actually seen one. Interesting, since they deny that evolution occurs because nobody has ever actually seen it happen. (Yes, yes, them evilootionists say it has been observed, but that’s just a fly changing into a fly, or a lizard adapting to a different diet, and stuff. That’s not evolution!)

  19. Science has always told us about things which we cannot see or manipulate.
    We can say that that ability is what makes science interesting.
    Newton’s laws of physics claimed to work everywhere and always, even though we could not go into space.
    No one doubts that there is a center to the Earth.
    Indeed, even in antiquity, everyone knew that the Sun continued to exist after it disappeared at sunset, and it was the same body which reappeared at sunrise.

  20. @AHR “I’m no creationist btw.”
    AfaIc that’s the most superfluous compliment since a long time and I mean that as a compliment (for all your other comments).

  21. TomS Scientists are now inferring an ‘extinct’ solar system planet from the discovery of tiny diamonds within ureilite meteorites.

  22. The real news will come later, when more planets are found — and the creationists continue to squirm. We’re looking forward to it.

    Creationists won’t “squirm” when more extrasolar planets are found, even if they’re found to be life-bearing (which would be tricky, but not impossible, to determine). They’ll just say that those planets were created at the same time the rest of the universe was, 6,000 years ago. (Well, I suppose old-earth creationists, those filthy apostates, would allow for a longer time frame.)

    What would really freak them out would be the discovery of nonhuman, and especially nonhumanoid, intelligent life. Some of these folks can barely accept nonwhites as being in the image of God; how do you suppose they’d feel about a tentacled cthulhoid?