NASA's Kepler space telescope spots 219 new potential planets
NASA's Kepler space telescope spots 219 new potential planets
21 Junio, 2017, 19:14
Of that number, it is estimated that six of them could have liquid water on their surfaces, with atmospheric temperatures similar to our planet's.
Due to their potential for hosting life, the 10 Earth-size planets are the most glamorous of the newly announced planets from Kepler.
In its four years in service, the Kepler space telescope has identified 4,034 new planet candidates with more than half of those being confirmed as exoplanets. Of which, 2,335 have been verified as exoplanets. Now, we know that exoplanets can be cold gas giants, hot Jupiters, ocean worlds, ice giants, lava worlds and rocky planets. All of Kepler's observations were in a small patch of sky between the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra. The researchers also believe it to be the most detailed catalog of exoplanet candidates.
It feels a bit like the end of an era", Thompson said, "but actually I see it as a new beginning. "It's wonderful, the things that Kepler has found". "It has shown us these terrestrial worlds, and we still have all this work to do to really understand how common Earths are in the galaxy".
Mario Perez, a Kepler programme scientist at Nasa, stressed the importance of the space telescope.
In the first four years of the Kepler mission launch, NASA's scientists surveyed about 0.25 percent of the sky.
NASA says the telescope is able to accomplish this by detecting a drop in a star's brightness, which happens when a planet passes in front of it. Susan Thompson, Kepler research scientist, said in the release that the telescope's catalog will serve as a foundation to answer the question of "how many planets like our Earth are in the galaxy?" This turned into the K2 mission. It recently discovered a solar system called Trappist-1 that has seven Earth-sized planets of which three reside in that star's habitable zone. Of those, about 50 near-Earth size habitable zone candidates have been detected, and 30 have been verified. The catalog allows scientists to estimate the frequency of Earth sizedplanets, which will form the basis of efforts to directly image an exoplanet.
Kepler findings have raised hope for the alien life beyond the solar system.
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These data have serious implications in the search for life.
This helped the team to determine which types of planets were overcounted and which were undercounted by the Kepler team's data processing methods. The space telescope can then ascertain the size of the planet and its orbital period.
Kepler is now on an extended mission, observing a number of interesting astronomical objects. As it now stands, it seems that Kepler has spotted over 4,000 planet candidates.
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