Science

Kepler Spacecraft Mission Leaves a Legacy to Humanity

Kepler Spacecraft Mission Leaves a Legacy to Humanity”

"It was not a surprise and means the end of the operation of the spacecraft and gathering science data", said Herz, reports RIA Novosti.

"When we started conceiving this mission 35 years ago we didn't know of a single planet outside our solar system", said the Kepler mission's founding principal investigator, William Borucki. That kept things going for another five years, but Kepler's work is now complete. It explored an area of 150,000 stars in the Cygnus constellation. Kepler most recently revealed that 20 to 50 percent of the stars the naked eye can see after dark could be orbited by small, rocky planets not unlike our own.

Kepler became the most effective exoplanet hunter thanks to its powerful ability to keep a close watch on light emission patterns from thousands of stars in the Milky Way.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered everything from a cosmic bat shadow to a skull and crossbones nebula, so among all the spooky images it's nice to spot a friendly face.

The observation of so many stars has allowed scientists to better understand stellar behaviors and properties, which is critical information in studying the planets that orbit them.

Unlike Cassini, whose kamikaze plunge into Saturn was its final, fiery farewell to the universe, Kepler will get a decommissioning command beamed to it from the NASA team on Earth.

NASA's elite planet-hunting spacecraft has been declared dead, just a few months shy of its 10th anniversary.

The US space agency's Kepler space telescope has run out of fuel and is being retired after nine and a half years, having helped discover more than 2,600 planets, some of which may hold life, officials said Tuesday. The data from the extended mission were also made available to the public and science community immediately, allowing discoveries to be made at an incredible pace and setting a high bar for other missions.

The MAST will also host the data that will be collected by NASA's next great space observatory and Kepler's successor, Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS.

Black holes are among the most elusive objects in the universe, but research out of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) suggests the remnant cores of burned-out stars could be the key to making the first observation ...



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