ibusinesslines.com November 14, 2018

MEGA ‘ALIEN WORLD’ discovering Kepler space telescope retires after finding 2,600 planets

02 November 2018, 05:42 | Justin Tyler

The Kepler space telescope's end has finally come

Kepler Space Telescope

It is noted that the reason for the mission was the lack of fuel. Only Kepler has discovered more than 2.6 thousand planets outside the Solar system. But Kepler's overall planet census showed that 20 to 50 per cent of the stars visible in the night sky could have planets like ours in the habitable zone for life, he said. It will be deactivated while in its current orbit of the sun, far from Earth, NASA 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. "But now we know, because of the Kepler Space Telescope and its science mission, that planets are more common than stars in our galaxy".

Kepler's discoveries have shed a new light on mankind's place in the Universe.

Though Kepler was certainly technologically advanced for its time, it hunted planets in a surprisingly straightforward manner.

Borucki said his favorite exoplanet spotted by the telescope was Kepler 22B, located more than 600 light years from Earth.

The driving force behind Kepler was Bill Borucki, the now-retired principal investigator for the mission at NASA Ames. "Now that we know planets are everywhere, Kepler has set us on a new course that's full of promise for future generations to explore our galaxy".

After launching in 2009, Kepler stared at the same spot in the sky for four years.

TESS builds on Kepler's foundation with fresh batches of data in its search of planets orbiting some 200,000 of the brightest and nearest stars to the Earth.

There was a lot of malfunction that happened with steering and dwindling hydrazine fuel levels costing $600 million spacecraft which stayed in action nearly for nine years and with 19 observation campaigns which are longer than its original four-year mission.

The spacecraft is responsible for finding more than 2,600 exoplanets circling distant stars in far-off parts of the galaxy.

Scientists were able to get all the data from Kepler down to Earth before it completely ran dry.

The most common size of planet Kepler found doesn't exist in our solar system, however.

Goodbye, Kepler. And though you may be drifting in the dark tens of millions of miles away from your homeworld, you showed that the cosmos may not be so lonely, and your contributions will not be forgotten.

Kepler helped astronomers measure potential planets by glimpsing transits, or moments when planets passed in front of their stars.

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is already in space and embarking on its own planetary hunt using a similar method to Kepler, keeping an eye on dips in starlight as planets move between the satellite and its host star. "That was an awesome diving catch", said Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters. At present, Kepler is trailing the Earth at a distance of about 94 million miles (151,278,336 km).

Officials announced the Kepler Space Telescope's demise Tuesday. It also revealed the diversity of planets in our galaxy.

"When we talk about building these new missions they are often very specialized and require that when they look at a planet they spend a lot of hours of operation yet they have a finite lifetime, " Borucki told SpaceFlight Insider.

"Now, because of Kepler, what we think about the universe has changed", NASA astrophysics division director Paul Hertz told the Verge.

Jessie Dotson, Kepler project scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, said, "I guess I feel like it was the little spacecraft that could". "I had not expected this amount of world-wide interest in the philosophical arenas nor how deeply engaging the scientific discoveries played into the minds of us all".

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