Kepler's data have provided insight into the nature and behavior of these exoplanets, as well as the history of our Milky Way galaxy and its stars. "Its discoveries have shed a new light on our place in the universe, and illuminated the tantalising mysteries and possibilities among the stars".
October 30 recorded 3,800 known exoplanets and Kepler was accountable for finding 2,720 of them. The unmanned space telescope, which launched in 2009, revealed that billions of hidden planets are in space and revolutionized humanity's understanding of the universe, experts said.
"As NASA's first planet-hunting mission, Kepler has wildly exceeded all our expectations and paved the way for our exploration and search for life in the solar system and beyond", said NASA Science Mission Directorate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen.
One such planet, Kepler-186f, is very much like Earth. On Tuesday, NASA was able to boost its search for the worldwide planet to know whether these planets can harbour alien life.
During its mission, Kepler found 2,681 confirmed planets and another 2,899 candidates.
Four years into the mission, after the primary mission objectives had been met, mechanical failures temporarily halted observations. However, NASA came up with the solution of changing the telescope's field of view every few months. All of the data being collected are publicly accessible and can be downloaded from the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive.
Before retiring the spacecraft, scientists pushed Kepler to its full potential, successfully completing multiple observation campaigns and downloading valuable science data even after initial warnings of low fuel. During K2, the Kepler spacecraft continued gathering the data necessary to hunt for exoplanets, and has allowed researchers to study other astrophysical questions.
NASA says scientists have made discoveries at an incredible pace, and the data from Kepler will keep them going for at least the next decade.
Kepler has got successor which is the new Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). However, recently NASA's Kepler team received an indication that the spacecraft's fuel tank is nearly empty. TESS will follow in the footsteps of NASA's pioneering Kepler Mission, continuing the groundbreaking ...
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