The majesty of the southern sky

This mosaic of the southern sky was assembled from 208 images taken by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) during its first year of science operations, completed in July 2019. 

The mission divided the southern sky into 13 sectors, each of which was imaged for nearly a month by the spacecraft’s four cameras. 

Within this scene, TESS discovered 29 exoplanets and more than 1000 candidate planets astronomers are now investigating.

Among the many notable celestial objects visible here are the glowing band of the Milky Way seen edgewise (left), the Orion Nebula (top), and the Large Magellanic Cloud (centre), a nearby galaxy located about 163,000 light-years away. 

The prominent dark lines are gaps between the detectors in TESS’s camera system.

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