MAY 12, 2016 7:56 AM PDT

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

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

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 16, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mapping the Boundaries of the Heliosphere
JUN 16, 2021
Mapping the Boundaries of the Heliosphere
Earth and the planets in the solar system sit within the heliosphere, a giant bubble formed by the charged particles, li ...
JUN 26, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Cardiac Atrophy Findings May Aid Astronauts in Long Space Flights
JUN 26, 2021
Cardiac Atrophy Findings May Aid Astronauts in Long Space Flights
Researchers led by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have discovered the molecular process behind a da ...
JUL 15, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Modern Slavery in Greece Spotted from Space
JUL 15, 2021
Modern Slavery in Greece Spotted from Space
Migrant settlements being exploited for work have been spotted with satellite imagery by researchers led by the Universi ...
AUG 18, 2021
Space & Astronomy
The Size of Black Holes Depends on their Feeding Patterns
AUG 18, 2021
The Size of Black Holes Depends on their Feeding Patterns
The feeding patterns of black holes are directly correlated to their size. The corresponding study was published in  ...
SEP 23, 2021
Immunology
Houses on Mars Held Together With Astronaut Blood?!
SEP 23, 2021
Houses on Mars Held Together With Astronaut Blood?!
A protein abundantly present in the blood plasma of astronauts is perfect for building shelters in outer space, say rese ...
NOV 03, 2021
Space & Astronomy
First Planet Discovered Outside of Our Galaxy
NOV 03, 2021
First Planet Discovered Outside of Our Galaxy
Exoplanets are planets that exist outside of our solar system, and until recently, they have only been found within the ...
Loading Comments...