Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Kepler Space Telescope

  • Kepler-223 system provides clues about planetary migration

    Jim SharkeyMay 20th, 2016

    At first, the four exoplanets that make up the planetary system Kepler-223 seemed to have little in common with the planets of our solar system. In a recent study, scientists using data from NASA's Kepler space telescope found that the two systems may have had more in common in the distant past.

  • Latest Kepler find more than doubles number of known exoplanets

    Jim SharkeyMay 11th, 2016

    Scientists with NASA's planet-hunting Kepler mission announced on Tuesday that they have verified 1,284 new exoplanets—the largest single finding to date. The newly verified planets were among 4,302 candidates in the Kepler space telescope's July 2015 catalog.

  • Kepler space telescope recovered from Emergency Mode

    Derek RichardsonApril 13th, 2016

    Mission operators successfully recovered NASA's Kepler space telescope from an Emergency Mode (EM) over the weekend. The spacecraft is currently in stable condition.

  • K2 mission gives Kepler space telescope a second chance to shine

    Jim SharkeyMarch 11th, 2016

    In May 2013, the prognosis looked grim for NASA's Kepler space telescope after the loss of an attitude stabilizing reaction wheel. Improvisation by engineers at Ball Aerospace devised a strategy to keep the space telescope stable using the pressure of sunlight. In late August 2013, the small group of engineers waited nervously for telemetry data to confirm that the technique could work.

  • Storm similar to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot detected on low mass star

    Laurel KornfeldDecember 13th, 2015

    A large, cloudy storm has been detected on a tiny, cool star known as W1906+40 by scientists using NASA's Spitzer and Kepler space telescopes. The finding marks the first time clouds and a storm similar to Jupiter's Great Red Spot have been found on a star rather than on a planet.

  • Kepler sees a mini-planet die as Earth-like planets wait to be born

    Jim SharkeyOctober 22nd, 2015

    Researchers using NASA’s rebooted Kepler spacecraft, now known as the K2 mission, have discovered evidence of a small, rocky object being torn apart as it spirals around a white dwarf star. The finding supports a long-held theory that white dwarfs can vaporize possible remnant planets that have survived in its planetary system.

  • Has the Kepler Space Telescope discovered an alien megastructure?

    Florida TechOctober 19th, 2015

    The recent developments in exoplanet research has led to the discovery of hundreds of planets in distant star systems. When this area of research first arose, astronomers believed they would only find exoplanets numbering in the dozens in other star systems. One of these in particular has captured the imagination of the public. This is because it has stymied scientists' efforts to explain it – leading to public speculation of an alien "megastructure".

  • NASA’s Kepler mission discovers Earth’s larger, older cousin

    Jim SharkeyJuly 24th, 2015

    Scientists with NASA's Kepler mission announced on July 23, the confirmation of the first near-Earth-size planet in the "habitable zone" around its star.The newly discovered planet, Kepler-452b, is the smallest planet found to date that orbits a Sun-like star in the habitable zone, the area around a star where liquid water could pool on the planet's surface. The confirmation of Kepler-452b brings the number of confirmed planets to 1,030.

  • Famous exoplanet hunter William Borucki retires from NASA

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 5th, 2015

    William Borucki, a space scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center and the principal investigator of the agency’s planet-hunting Kepler mission, retired from NASA on Friday, July 3, after decades of a successful career. His 53-year scientific lifework, marked with numerous discoveries and prestigious awards, is best known for his persistent advocacy for an exoplanet searching satellite and then […]

  • Kepler data helping home in on ‘other Earths’

    Joe LatrellJune 20th, 2015

    Astronomers have used data pulled from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope to find a world about half the size and a tenth of the mass of Earth. Estimated to be roughly the size of the planet Mars, the world called Kepler-138b is the first exoplanet to be detected using a new method of planetary discovery that yields […]

  • Kepler’s second light: K2 mission discovers its first exoplanet

    SpaceFlight InsiderDecember 29th, 2014

    After some creative engineering and a collaboration between astronomers and engineers, NASA’s Kepler telescope was able to make a comeback after being crippled by a reaction wheel failure. The new technique takes advantage of solar winds and revived the planet-hunting telescope, enabling it to take on a new mission, dubbed K2. On Dec. 18, 2014, […]

  • Kepler helps astronomers discover a new class of planet: the “Mega-Earth”

    SpaceFlight InsiderJune 4th, 2014

    With the help of the Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered a new type of planet. A team from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) announced the find during a press conference at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). This new variety of extrasolar planet (exoplanet) was originally thought to be impossible. The […]

  • New technique could Help find exomoons orbiting distant planets

    Paul Scott AndersonMay 14th, 2014

    Exoplanets orbiting distant stars are now being discovered in the thousands, with a new discovery made almost every week now. But what about exomoons? In our own solar system, moons far outnumber planets, so it should be considered likely that many of those other planets out there would also have moons. The problem is size; […]

  • Kepler Space Telescope discovers Earth-sized Planet in star’s habitable zone

    SpaceFlight InsiderApril 17th, 2014

    Today, astronomers working with the Kepler space telescope announced the discovery of the first Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of its host star. A star’s habitable zone is the area around a star where the conditions would be ideal for liquid water to pool on the planet’s surface. Many factors contribute to a planet’s […]

  • Worlds without end: NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope finds hundreds of new solar systems

    Jason RhianFebruary 27th, 2014

    On Wednesday, February 26 NASA announced that the space agency’s Kepler Space Telescope had discovered 715 exoplanets orbiting 305 distant stars. The spacecraft, which has been on orbit since March of 2009, has detected that 95 of these worlds are smaller than the ice giant Neptune in our own solar system and suggest that solar […]