It will have time to find just a couple more candidate exoplanets.
Space exploration made easy.
This could be a game changer.
Some stars go out with a bang — a supernova explosion! Using optical images recorded by the now defunct Kepler telescope, astronomers witnessed for the very time the shockwave that follows a star’s implosion once it runs out of fuel.
While the windy and overcast weather of a stormy day isn’t surprising on telluric planets, it’s not something most of us readily associate with stars. But it does happen — the best evidence for this is W1906+40, a distant dwarf star recently described in a study published in the Astrophysical Journal.
The ever resourceful Kepler missions just reported its most interesting find to date: not one, but five planets smaller than Earth orbiting a star 117 light-years away that’s estimated to be 11 billion years old. This makes it far older than our own sun, meaning its planets could be 2.5 times as old as Earth. The findings bear important implications
Since it was first launched in 2009, the $600 Kepler mission has discovered more than 1,000 alien worlds. Arguably it’s one of the most successful space mission in history so far, further cementing its status as a legend. The milestone was breached after eight newly confirmed exoplanets were added to the tally, two of which are very similar to Earth and thus could support alien life.
Astronomers have discovered water vapor in the atmosphere of a new exoplanet – a planet from outside our solar system – roughly the size of Neptune, orbiting a star 124 light-years away. This is the first time water vapor has been found on an alien planet smaller than Jupiter. The discovery is set to improve scientists’ understanding of how planet forms and which planets may be best suited to support alien life.
Until just a few decades ago, there wasn’t any proof that there were any planets beyond those in our solar system, although of course everybody expected them to exist somewhere. After the Kepler Space Telescope was deployed, astronomers found not one, but a couple hundred exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars). In fact, our galaxy is supposed to harbor some 50
A team of astronomers recently discovered a new exoplanet some 200 light years away whose mass is about the same as Earth’s – the first Earth-mass planet that transits, or crosses in front of, its host star. Although very similar in mass, the planet is 60% larger in diameter suggesting it has a thick atmosphere. Due to its very short
Although the Kepler Space Telescope itself is defunct due to a malfunction that rendered it out of operation some months ago, the mission goes on as scientists churn through massive amounts of data gathered by Kepler, enough to keep them busy for years to come. One of the fruits of Kepler is an exoplanet called Kepler 78b located just 400 light-years
A new alien planet has been found by astronomers who have a novel planet hunting method which makes good use of Einstein’s special theory of relativity. The newly found exoplanet is slightly larger than Jupiter and is the first such planet found with this method. The planet orbits a star in the constellation Cygnus, about 2,000 light-years away from Earth.
The ever resourceful Kepler mission has recently unveiled several new possible Earth-like planet candidates, two of whom are favored by scientists with the best odds yet of supporting alien life. The pair actually orbits around the same star, called Kepler 62, after NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, which is smaller and dimmer than our own star. Kepler 62 is some 1,200 light years
After researchers surveyed data from the Kepler mission tasked with identifying possibly habitable planets outside our solar system they found that 6% of red dwarfs – the most common type of planets – are within this zone. This new adjustment would mean that the nearest Earth-like planet might lie just 13 light years away. Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
The Kepler mission has proven to be invaluable to science today thanks to its formidable discoveries of exoplanets in our galaxy. It’s rather remarkable how scientists can tell so much from so little, like the size, mass, orbit and sometimes even composition of a distant planet all by analyzing light. On other hand, it’s frustrating at times not being able
Astronomers working on the Kepler telescope believe that every 1 in 6 stars hosts at least an Earth-sized planet in a close orbit, raising the number of such planets in our galaxy to 17 billion. Finding planets Astrophysicists also announced 461 new planet candidates discovered by the telescope; this raises the number of planets discovered by Kepler to 2,740 –
Researchers at MIT, the University of California at Santa Cruz and other institutions have come across the first exoplanetary system, whose planets exhibit a regularly aligned orbit, after analyzing data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope. So far, other discovered exoplanetary systems had planets, particularly hot-Jupiters, which presented far more eccentric orbits. Our solar system is comprised of eight planets, each orbiting their own
Kepler, a space telescope on a mission to find alien planets by measuring dips in the brightness of more than 150,000 stars, has come across a fantastic discovery. Two planets orbiting a distant star, which are closer to one another than any other two planets discovered thus far. Apparently, from the surface of the smaller planet, its neighbor would appear about the size
Our solar system is special for two reasons: the first one, obviously – is us. Our solar system is the only one we know of so far that hosts life. The second one is the number of planets – no other solar system that we’ve seen until now had as many planets as ours, but this has just changed. The
In our very own Milky Way galaxy alone, astronomers estimate there are between 200 billion and 400 billion stars. Of these, there are many that exoplanets within their solar systems. Still, what are the odds planets, more or less similar to our one, capable of supporting life, microscopic or otherwise, exist? This is the exact role of the Kepler mission,