For a few decades now, the leading edge of science and especially astronomy has been at least partially dedicated to the search for one of the most fundamental philosophical questions we have — are we alone in the universe?
An international team of astronomers, led by University of Hawaii graduate student Ashley Chontos, announced the confirmation of the first exoplanet candidate identified by NASA’s Kepler Mission. The result was presented at the fifth Kepler/K2 Science Conference held in Glendale, CA.
New Neptune-sized exomoon candidate has been observed around a star some 8,000 light years away
Life needs a stable climate.
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has caught a kind of stellar explosion called a Fast-Evolving Luminous Transient (FELT) in the act.
Trailing Earth’s orbit at 94 million miles away, the Kepler space telescope has survived many potential knock-outs during its nine years in flight, from mechanical failures to being blasted by cosmic rays. At this rate, the hardy spacecraft may reach its finish line in a manner we will consider a wonderful success. With nary a gas station to be found in deep space, the spacecraft is going to run out of fuel. We expect to reach that moment within several months.
Astronomers using data from NASA’s extended Kepler mission, known as K2, have discovered 95 new exoplanets, with sizes ranging from mostly rocky super-Earths and fluffy mini-Neptunes to Jupiter-like gaseous giants.