Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



EXO WORLDS
NASA says 1,284 new planets found by Kepler telescope
By Kerry SHERIDAN
Miami (AFP) May 10, 2016


NASA on Tuesday announced the discovery of 1,284 new planets outside our solar system, more than doubling the number of known exoplanets found with the Kepler space telescope.

"This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth," said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington.

The unmanned Kepler space observatory, which launched in 2009, has been scanning 150,000 stars for signs of orbiting bodies, particularly those that might be able to support life.

It works by observing a dimming in the light of a star, known as a transit, each time an orbiting planet passes in front of it.

"Of the nearly 5,000 total planet candidates found to date, more than 3,200 now have been verified, and 2,325 of these were discovered by Kepler," NASA said in a statement.

Of the new trove of 1,284, nearly 550 could be rocky planets like Earth, based on their size, the US space agency said.

"Nine of these orbit in their sun's habitable zone, which is the distance from a star where orbiting planets can have surface temperatures that allow liquid water to pool."

- 'Goldilocks' zone -

The addition of these nine means that 21 exoplanets now are known to be possibly circling their stars in the habitable zone, and may harbor life.

However, Kepler is a "statistical mission," NASA scientists said, and is not designed to probe further into the conditions of certain planets that exist in the so-called "Goldilocks zone" of their stars -- neither too hot nor too cold to sustain life.

That means even the most advanced space telescopes now being built, including the James Webb Space Telescope, may not be able to shed much more light on the nature of life on another of these exoplanets, if life does exist.

"Before the Kepler space telescope launched, we did not know whether exoplanets were rare or common in the galaxy. Thanks to Kepler and the research community, we now know there could be more planets than stars," said Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA headquarters.

"This knowledge informs the future missions that are needed to take us ever closer to finding out whether we are alone in the universe."

The latest trove of planets was confirmed by a new statistical method, instead of the time-consuming one-by-one process that was used previously.

This statistical analysis method can be applied to many planet candidates simultaneously, according to Timothy Morton, associate research scholar at Princeton University, and lead author of a paper describing the findings in The Astrophysical Journal.

- Emergency event -

Kepler survived an emergency last month, when some kind of "transient event... triggered a barrage of false alarms that eventually overwhelmed the system," NASA said.

Kepler suffered another crisis in 2013, related to a problem with the reaction wheels that typically keep the spacecraft steady.

NASA saved it back then, and set the spacecraft on a new mission called K2, to study supernovas, star clusters and far-off galaxies.

The latest failure, which NASA described as leaving the spacecraft in a "fuel-intensive coma," was discovered on April 8.

Engineers on Earth were able to rescue the spacecraft and restored its ability to collect data on April 22.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
EXO WORLDS
Three potentially habitable worlds found around nearby ultracool dwarf star
Brussels, Belgium (SPX) May 09, 2016
A team of astronomers led by Michael Gillon, of the Institut d'Astrophysique et Geophysique at the University of Liege in Belgium, have used the Belgian TRAPPIST telescope to observe the star 2MASS J23062928-0502285, now also known as TRAPPIST-1. They found that this dim and cool star faded slightly at regular intervals, indicating that several objects were passing between the star and the Earth ... read more


EXO WORLDS
NASA research gives new insights into how the Moon got inked

First rocket made ready for launch at Vostochny spaceport

Supernova iron found on the moon

Russia to shift all Lunar launches to Vostochny Cosmodrome

EXO WORLDS
Flying observatory detects atomic oxygen in Martian atmosphere

Clues about Volcanoes Under Ice on Ancient Mars

Second ExoMars mission moves to next launch opportunity in 2020

Although Boiling, Water Does Shape Martian Terrain

EXO WORLDS
No more space race for US, rivalry gives way to collaboration

NASA Awards Contract for Aeronautics, Exploration Modeling, Simulation

Michael Watkins Named Next JPL Director

US to move more assets into deep space over next 4 years

EXO WORLDS
Long March-7 rocket delivered to launch site

China's space technology extraordinary, impressive says Euro Space Center director

China can meet Chile's satellite needs: ambassador

China launches Kunpeng-1B sounding rocket

EXO WORLDS
NASA, Space Station partners announce future mission crew members

New landing date for ESA astronaut Tim Peake

Tim Peake goes roving

Russia delays space crew's return to Earth

EXO WORLDS
SpaceX lands rocket's first stage after space launch

SpaceX successfully lands rockets first stage after space launch

Agreement Signed for Airbus Safran Launchers

SpaceX to launch Japanese satellite early Friday

EXO WORLDS
Scientists discover potentially habitable planets

MIT compiles list of potential gases to guide search for life on exoplanets

Three potentially habitable worlds found around nearby ultracool dwarf star

Light Echoes Give Clues to Protoplanetary Disk

EXO WORLDS
Accelerating complex computer simulations: thinking beyond ones and zeros

Airbus Defence and Space to lead TeSeR, next EU project to clean up space

Army investigating new materials for explosive, propellant use

Engineers create a better way to boil water




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement