JUN 20, 2017 7:16 AM PDT

NASA's Latest Kepler Survey Reveals Additional Earth-Like Exoplanets

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

One of the most valuable systems we have in place today for discovering exoplanets throughout the galaxy is NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, which detects their existence by measuring dimming light that occurs when an exoplanet transits a star.

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has helped astronomers catalog over 4,000 exoplanet candidates to date; 219 of those have been just recently added.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Kepler has so far helped astronomers discover 4,034 exoplanet candidates to date, 2,335 of which have been verified as fascinating exoplanets. The latter figure includes exoplanets that are both Earth-like terrestrial types and Neptune-like gassy types.

Related: Kepler Space Telescope discovers habitable Earth-like exoplanet Kepler 186F

Despite all the discoveries Kepler has helped us make so far, it continues to find more as it surveys the heavens, and the latest survey results are just now coming in with 219 new exoplanet candidates now in the midst of being cataloged.

As exciting as this number sounds, only 10 of these 219 exoplanets are Earth-like in both size and type and reside inside of their host stars’ habitable zones. This means most of the exoplanet candidates discovered are unlikely to support life, despite a small number that potentially could.

“The Kepler data set is unique, as it is the only one containing a population of these near Earth-analogs – planets with roughly the same size and orbit as Earth,” said Kepler program scientist Mario Perez. “Understanding their frequency in the galaxy will help inform the design of future NASA missions to directly image another Earth.”

Related: NASA regains control of Kelper after a freak emergency mode recovery

Despite the small handful that might, however, astronomers are still excited to examine them up close with more powerful space observation equipment. Kepler is a discovery mechanism that opens the door to further research, and that it will.

The upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will be able to see further and more clearly than any space telescope of its kind to date, and it’s hoped that it will become an instrumental tool in learning more about these otherworldly systems.

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
MAY 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Here's Why SpaceX is Using Heavy Stainless Steel to Make Starship
MAY 24, 2020
Here's Why SpaceX is Using Heavy Stainless Steel to Make Starship
SpaceX is perhaps best known for its reusable Falcon 9 rocket, the same variety that will be lofting astronauts into out ...
JUN 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Was Oumuamua Just An Interstellar Hydrogen Iceberg?
JUN 07, 2020
Was Oumuamua Just An Interstellar Hydrogen Iceberg?
If you were following space news outlets back in 2017, then you likely heard about the particularly odd cigar-shaped spa ...
JUN 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
SpaceX Reinforces Starlink Satellite Constellation with 60 New Units
JUN 07, 2020
SpaceX Reinforces Starlink Satellite Constellation with 60 New Units
It was only last weekend that SpaceX earned a round of applause from NASA after astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley s ...
JUN 25, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Did Scientists Just Discover the Smallest Black Hole Known to Man?
JUN 25, 2020
Did Scientists Just Discover the Smallest Black Hole Known to Man?
An array of antennas in the US and Italy, known as the International LIGO-Virgo Collaboration, received some unusual rea ...
JUL 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Bacteria More Lethal and Antibiotic Resistant in Space
JUL 27, 2020
Bacteria More Lethal and Antibiotic Resistant in Space
Research has shown that bacteria are more lethal and resistant to antibiotics when exposed to microgravity (a lack of gr ...
JUL 30, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Indian Schoolgirls Discover Asteroid Moving Towards Earth
JUL 30, 2020
Indian Schoolgirls Discover Asteroid Moving Towards Earth
During a project sponsored by Space India and NASA, two schoolgirls aged 14 in the 10th grade discovered an asteroid nea ...
Loading Comments...