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FGCU Professor Attends Launch of TESS at Cape Canaveral

TESS Space Telescope

NASA’s new Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is set to launch this evening at 6:32 p.m. on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral. The TESS mission is to find planets outside of our solar system, known as exoplanets. It finds them by looking at faraway stars, or more specifically by brief dimming periods on other stars caused by planets periodically blocking part of the light as they pass by, or transit, them. We're joined by Dr. Derek Buzasi, he's a Whitaker Eminent Scholar in the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Florida Gulf Coast University. He'll get to use TESS to further research he began in the 1990s exploring starquakes.

If you’d like to learn more about the search for exoplanets, check out this conversation we had on this show last month with the Deputy Director of the Exoplanet Science Institute at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.