Kepler data reveals nearly 100 new exoplanets

Out there waiting to be found

However, in 2013, Kepler telescope lost his ability to detect exoplanets citing its issue with maintaining the course while focusing on these planets due to a mechanical failure. Astronomers have now revealed the latest of Kepler's findings: a haul of close to 100 exoplanets. "We validated a planet on a 10-day orbit around a star called HD 212657, which is now the brightest star found by either the Kepler or K2 missions to hold a validated planet. But we also detected planets that range from sub-Earth-sized to the size of Jupiter and larger", Mayo said.

During the latest research, the team found that some of the signals coming from the 275 candidate exoplanets they were investigating were actually being caused by multiple star systems or noise from the spacecraft.

The search for new exoplanets is now one of the most exciting areas of space science, one that is providing fascinating insights into our universe.

The work also involved colleagues from institutions such as NASA, Caltech, UC Berkeley, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Tokyo. A method was figured out by astronomers and engineers to re-purpose and save the space telescope by changing its field of view periodically.

The spacecraft, which is on the K2 mission to discover new exoplanets, has uncovered thousands of candidates since it was launched nearly a decade ago.

Since the mid-1990s, astronomers have catalogued over 3600 confirmed exoplanets, and the two Kepler missions have found over 5100 unconfirmed exoplanet candidates.

No doubt, bright stars with planets around them are an added bonus, as astronomers can then perform more investigative work using both space-based and ground-based telescopes. After waiting for few time, the Kepler spacecraft shined once again and that is when it was named as K2 Mission. "As more planets are discovered, astronomers will develop a much better picture of the nature of exoplanets which in turn will allow us to place our own solar system into a galactic context".

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The worlds - which vary from being the same size as our own Earth to much bigger like Jupiter - were found amid hundreds of potential exoplanets found in data from the Kepler spacecraft.

The transit can be identified with the help of recording the dips in light caused by the shadow of an exoplanet as it crosses in front of its parent star.

Mayo and his team are understandably excited about the discovery of these 100 new planets and their implications for the future of the field.

"The follow up K2 mission, on the other hand, has provided us with a great deal of interesting individual planets and systems that we can now start to study in greater detail".

The Kepler planet hunting satellite has been searching the stars for distant worlds using Google's AI system, which used machine learning to "find" planets in the Kepler data with up to 96 percent accuracy. It is a great news for astronomy savvies to figure out what planets beyond our solar system might be like.

Upcoming missions will examine the rocky, Earth-sized planets which could support life.

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