MAY 12, 2016 07:56 AM PDT

NASA's Kepler Mission Announces Having Found Over 1,280 Exoplanets

NASA’s Kepler mission has been on the hunt for rogue exoplanets throughout the galaxy for over 7 years, and throughout that time, NASA discovered about 4,302 potential candidates for possible exoplanets.
 

NASA announces that the Kepler mission has found over 1,284 exoplanets throughout the galaxy.


An exoplanet is a planet that exists outside of our solar system.
 
In an official statement this week, NASA was excited to share that the Kepler mission has successfully identified 1,284 exoplanets, or objects that have a 99% chance of being an exoplanet.
 
Moreover, another 1,307 possible exoplanet candidates require additional details and studying for NASA to be able to tell if they are actually exoplanets or not. Sometimes objects may not actually be exoplanets, but rather just random space rocks instead.
 
The search for exoplanets is a way for NASA to look for other systems like ours that have the greatest chance of supporting life like Earth does. In the statement released earlier this week, NASA explains that there are around 550 rocky planets like the Earth that have been discovered, and only nine of them orbit their host star in the habitable zone.
 
The statistics show just how rare a place like Earth really is, and that life may reside elsewhere in our universe, or it might not.
 
"They say not to count our chickens before they're hatched, but that's exactly what these results allow us to do based on probabilities that each egg (candidate) will hatch into a chick (bona fide planet)," said Natalie Batalha, co-author of the paper and the Kepler mission.
 
“This work will help Kepler reach its full potential by yielding a deeper understanding of the number of stars that harbor potentially habitable, Earth-size planets -- a number that's needed to design future missions to search for habitable environments and living worlds.”

The announcement came just after a problem with the Kepler spacecraft going into emergency mode for unknown reasons. Fortunately, a connection with Kepler was able to be reestablished by engineers and work could resume.

In addition to rocky worlds, Kepler has discovered tons of gassy planets like Jupiter. Some of them are extremely hot, and some colder than others. The discoveries teach us every day of new systems we never thought would be possible to exist in space, but the research comtinues to educate and fascinate astronomers.

Coupled with new E-Sail technology that could take spacecraft out of our solar system in less than a decade, space exploration in distant systems is starting to look very exciting for upcoming years.

Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUN 27, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUN 27, 2018
The James Webb Space Telescope Just Got Delayed... Again
Astronomers and planetary scientists are getting antsy to make use of NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to reveal more secrets about...
JUL 27, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 27, 2018
TESS Begins Searching for Exoplanets
NASA, in an official statement this week, announced that its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission had commenced scientific operations on We...
JUL 28, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 28, 2018
Star Ran Away From Black Hole, Leaving a Part of Its Light Behind
In a recent news conference, scientists from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) announced that their Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile witnessed a c...
JUL 31, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 31, 2018
Where Does Earth Get Its Water
We live on Earth, the so-called blue planet. Without water, Earth would not be "blue" at all, not to mention the life that is bred on the planet...
AUG 20, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 20, 2018
Martian Dust Storm Begins Clearing, Sparking Hope for the Opportunity Rover
Back in June, Mars became enveloped by a planet-wide dust storm. The dust from the storm blocked so much sunlight that NASA felt compelled to put its solar...
AUG 27, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 27, 2018
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope Celebrates 15 Years in Space
NASA engineers originally designed the Spitzer Space Telescope to observe the heavens for approximately 2.5 years. But 15 years later, the space observator...
Loading Comments...