Asked by Ben Cope
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) concerns itself with finding extrasolar planets and unexpected events such as gamma-ray bursts while the same space agency’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has more tricks up its sleeve, searching for light from the first stars and galaxies, delving into the formation and evolution of these objects as well as their planetary systems and the origins of life.
The JWST must carry out its observations in the near-infrared light due to a combination of dust obscurations and incredibly low temperatures – dipping as low as -173 degrees Celsius (-279 degrees Fahrenheit). TESS, on the other hand, is able to see in the visible light, in its hunt for exoplanets passing across, or transiting, their Sun-like or red dwarf stars.
Image courtesy of MIT
Got your own question you want answered? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get our experts on the case