22.8 C
Friday, October 30, 2020

Kepler’s legacy: Planets are everywhere

Must read

Bali 9: Si Yi Chen identified with coronavirus in Kerobokan jail

A member of the notorious Bali 9 drug smuggling ring has contracted coronavirus contained in the infamous Kerobokan jail on the Indonesian island.Si...

Two repeat sexual predators free of WA jail by the identical choose

Two repeat sexual predators have been granted freedom from jail with dozens of strict circumstances regardless of issues they might be a hazard...
The Indian Telegraphhttps://theindiantelegraph.com.au/
Established in 2007, The Indian Telegraph is a multi award winning digital media company based in Australia.

On October 30, NASA decided to retire its first revolutionary planet-hunting spacecraft, the Kepler Space Telescope, after it ran out of fuel. During its mission of nine years, much longer than the 3.5 years it had been planned for, Kepler observed 5,30,506 stars and discovered 2,662 exoplanets (planets outside the solar system), many of which are potential places for life.

“When we started conceiving this mission 35 years ago, we didn’t know of a single planet outside our solar system,” said the Kepler mission’s founding principal investigator, William Borucki, now retired from NASA. “Now we know planets are everywhere.”

A recent analysis of data from Kepler indicates that 20-50 per cent of the stars visible in the night sky are likely to have small, possibly rocky, planets, similar in size to the earth and located within the habitable zone of their parent stars. Its discoveries have also shown that there are many planetary systems with such a high density of planets that the solar system looks sparse in comparison.

Named after the astronomer Johannes Kepler, the spacecraft was launched on March 6, 2009. It was originally positioned to stare continuously at 1,50,000 stars in one star-studded patch of the sky in the constellation Cygnus. Kepler used the “transit method”—observing the star’s dipping light as a planet transits in front—to discover exoplanets.

Four years into the mission, after the primary mission objectives had been met, mechanical failures temporarily halted observations. The mission team was able to devise a fix, switching the spacecraft’s field of view roughly every three months. This enabled an extended mission for the spacecraft, renamed K2, which lasted as long as the first mission and increased the number of surveyed stars up to more than 5,00,000.

Before Kepler was retired, it was driven to its full potential. The enormous amount of data from Kepler is expected to serve the astronomical community a decade or more in its search for new planets.

Latest article

Will Pucovski took on the brand new position of opener for Victoria in his first hit of the summer season

Victorian coach Chris Rogers produced the primary shock transfer of the cricket summer season elevating batting dynamo Will Pucovski to open because the...

$1 million reward: WA mum’s plea to unravel 40-year homicide thriller

The mom of a WA woman who vanished 40 years in the past says she has nearly given up hope of ever studying...

Cricket: Test quick Mitch Starc warned Aussie teammate Marnus Labuschagne who went on to make another century

Australia’s Test stars have butted heads in a fierce Adelaide workout watched closely by chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns.From his eyrie in the...

Help Your Community Tell Their Story

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is recruiting Census Engagement Managers for the 2021 Census, which is on 10 August. The employment period...

Kyle Daniels trial: Mum will ‘always remember’ what daughter mentioned to her

A mom has defended her choice to solely elevate with swim faculty workers allegations that an teacher had inappropriately touched her daughter and...