The satellite, launched in April, has already identified at least 73 stars that may harbor exoplanets, most of them new to astronomers. A “first light science image” made by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, part of its first round of data collection. It has already detected at least 73 potential exoplanets new to astronomers.CreditCreditNASA/MIT/TESS Somewhere among these grains of celestial sugar and powder puffs of cloudy light there is a planet, perhaps many planets, perhaps even Earth 2.0, as astronomers sometimes call the object of their dreams — a terrestrial look-alike to our own world, a “Goldilocks” place not too hot nor too cold, where Darwin’s dice might have come up sevens. On Monday, astronomers who operate NASA’s new planet-hunting satellite TESS released what they call the satellite’s “first light science image.” Taken last August, it covers a swath of the Southern Sky showing stars and constellations and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, which are nearby galaxies in their own right, hanging like extragalactic fruit in nearby space. Within this first patch of sky to be surveyed TESS, short for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, has already identified at least 73 stars that might harbor exoplanets, most of them new to astronomers, according to George Ricker, an astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who leads the project. They all need to be confirmed by other astronomers, Dr. Ricker added. “TESS is doing great — all that we could have wished for!” he wrote in a email. [ Sign up to get reminders for space and astronomy events on your calendar .] In an explosion of research over the last three decades, spearheaded by NASA’s Kepler planet-hunting spacecraft , astronomers have concluded that there are billions of planets, including potentially habitable rocky worlds like Earth, in the Milky Way galaxy.
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Mr. Pompeo said refugees had to be weighed against a backlog of 800,000 asylum seekers who are awaiting a decision by immigration authorities about whether they qualify as in need of protection under United States law and will be granted status to remain. But he vastly overstated the numbers, while making a linkage between two groups of immigrants that are not the same and are processed differently. As of the end of June, the Department of Homeland Security reported just under 320,000 people who had claimed asylum — meaning they had passed an interview conducted to verify that they met the “credible fear” threshold to be considered — and were awaiting a decision from the department about whether they could stay. About 730,000 additional immigrants were waiting for their cases to be resolved by immigration courts, according to the Justice Department, including people who had asked for asylum after being apprehended. But that number also included people in deportation or other immigration proceedings. Those are not all “humanitarian protection cases,” as Mr. Pompeo described them; some may never be granted asylum and some will be removed from the United States. Immigrant and advocates condemned the cuts to the refugee program, calling it a callous decision that would also undermine American national security and foreign policy priorities. Nazanin Ash, the vice president for policy and advocacy at the International Rescue Committee, accused the Trump administration of piling on after attacks on the American asylum system, failing to protect unaccompanied minors at the border and withdrawing temporary protected status for Haitians, Salvadorans, Hondurans and others.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/17/us/politics/trump-refugees-historic-cuts.html