Midnight In The Desert — Kepler

Nasa finds solar system filled with as many planets as our own

Posted by K R on

Nasa finds solar system filled with as many planets as our own

Nasa has found an entire solar system with as many planets as our own. The discovery of a new planet around the Kepler-90 star, which looks like our own sun, means the distant solar system has a total of eight known planets. And those planets look like those in our own neighbourhood: rocky planets orbit close to the star, with gas giants further away. The star and its family of planets were already known about, having been detected by the Kepler space telescope. But the breakthrough came when astronomers found the new world, which was done using Google’s artificial intelligence...

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Kepler space telescope spots two planets that might support life

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Kepler space telescope spots two planets that might support life

After recovering from a shutdown scare back in April, NASA's Kepler telescope continues its mission scoping out the stars for Earth-size planets orbiting other stars, crude criteria to find ones that might support life. The spacecraft just spotted four more exoplanets in a cluster around a foreign sun, two of which fit the bill to potentially contain living organisms. All four planets are 20 percent to 50 percent larger than our own, suggesting a rocky surface, and orbit a red dwarf star called K2-72, which is 181 light years away from Earth in the Aquarius constellation. The two life-supporting contenders,...

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2 newfound alien planets may be capable of supporting life

Posted by K R on

2 newfound alien planets may be capable of supporting life

NASA's Kepler space telescope has spotted four possibly rocky alien planets orbiting the same star, and two of these newfound worlds might be capable of supporting life. The four exoplanets circle a red dwarf — a star smaller and dimmer than the sun — called K2-72, which lies 181 light-years from Earth in the Aquarius constellation. All four worlds are between 20 percent and 50 percent wider than Earth, making them good candidates to be rocky, discovery team members said. Two of the four planets, known as K2-72c and K2-72e, appear to be in the star's "habitable zone" — that...

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Nasa announces 1,284 new planets discovered by Kepler space telescope

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Nasa announces 1,284 new planets discovered by Kepler space telescope

Nasa has announced its Kepler space telescope has discovered 1,284 new planets, nine of which could theoretically be habitable. The huge discovery more than doubles the amount of exoplanets which have been discovered by the cutting-edge telescope. In total, the number of known planets outside our solar system now sits at 3,264 - an impressive figure, considering astronomers had never spotted any as recently as 1989. Of the 1,284 new planets, around 550 are believed to be rocky, like Earth. Nine of these also sit in their star's 'habitable zone', where the surface temperature allows liquid water to exist. With...

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Kepler spacecraft back on mission after incident, NASA says

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Kepler spacecraft back on mission after incident, NASA says

NASA reports that its Kepler spacecraft, an instrument positioned almost 75 million miles from Earth that hunts for exoplanets, is now functioning normally after an unknown event put it in emergency mode earlier this month. Flight engineers based in Boulder, Colorado, were able to position Kepler so that it is pointed towards our galaxy’s center, where it will work on a mission NASA calls Campaign 9, searching for planets outside of our solar system using a technique known as “gravitational microlensing.” The space agency learned on April 7 that the spacecraft was in emergency mode, and announced a “spacecraft emergency,”...

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