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What the Tech? App of the Day: Upwork – WRCB-TV

WRCB-TV What the Tech? App of the Day : Upwork WRCB-TV Never before have so many Americans had a second job. Not the kind of second-job that you might picture, but a side-gig or side-hustle. A job where they call the shots. Many times those side-gigs turn into a full-time career. If that's the kind of ... and more »

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What the Tech? App of the Day: Upwork – WRCB-TV

WRCB-TV What the Tech? App of the Day : Upwork WRCB-TV Never before have so many Americans had a second job. Not the kind of second-job that you might picture, but a side-gig or side-hustle. A job where they call the shots. Many times those side-gigs turn into a full-time career. If that's the kind of ... and more »

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NASA’s planet-hunting TESS telescope launches Monday aboard a SpaceX rocket

Some of the most exciting space news of the past few years has been about Earth-like exoplanets that could one day (or perhaps already do) support life. TESS, a space telescope set to launch Monday aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, will scan the sky for exoplanets faster and better than any existing platforms, expanding our knowledge of the universe and perhaps finding a friendly neighborhood to move to. The Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite has been in the works for years and in a way could be considered a sort of direct successor to the Kepler , the incredibly fruitful mission that has located thousands of exoplanets over nearly a decade. But if Kepler was a telephoto aimed at dim targets far in the distance, TESS is an ultra-wide-angle lens that will watch nearly the entire visible sky. They both work on the same principle, which is really quite simple: when a planet (or anything else) passes between us and a star (a “transit”), the brightness of that star temporarily dims. By tracking how much dimmer and for how long over multiple transits, scientists can determine the size, speed, and other characteristics of the body that passed by. It may seem like looking for a needle in a haystack, watching the sky hoping a planet will pass by at just the right moment. But when you think about the sheer number of stars in the sky — and by the way, planets outnumber them — it’s not so crazy. As evidence of this fact, in 2016 Kepler confirmed the presence of 1,284 new planets just in the tiny patch of sky it was looking at. TESS will watch for the same thing with a much, much broader perspective. Its camera array has four 16.4-megapixel imaging units, each covering a square of sky 24 degrees across, making for a tall “segment” of the sky like a long Tetris block. The satellite will spend full 13.7-day orbits observing a segment, then move on to the next one. There are 13 such segments in the sky’s Northern hemisphere and 13 in the southern; by the time TESS has focused on them all, it will have checked 85 percent of the visible sky. The little yellow patches are Kepler’s various fields of view. It will be focusing on the brightest stars in our neighborhood: less than 300 light-years away and 30 to 100 times as bright as the ones Kepler was looking at

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