Kepler Mission

  • ​NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has been on shaky ground for some time now. Mission scientists have now placed it into sleep mode in hopes of salvaging what might be its last cache of data, though there are no guarantees.
  • On June 6, 2018, NASA announced that the Kepler space observatory was reaching the end of its life.Now that Kepler is approaching its final days, let's look back at its remarkable nine-year career and how it has changed our views about the universe.
  • NASA isn’t done with the Kepler Space Telescope just yet. Its scientists have awoken the deep space probe to gather science data yet again, though with an unknown amount of fuel and a compromised performance, there’s no telling how successful the venture will be.
  • Watery planets beyond the Solar System may be more common than previously thought, making up 35 percent of exoplanets two to four times the size of the Earth. According to a new study, many planets are made up of half water by mass as opposed to the 0.02 percent water that the Earth has.
  • When looking for exoplanets that could potentially support life, astronomers start with those orbiting within the “habitable zone." A new study has found that two of the most promising planets are now even more promising, with axial tilts that likely give them regular seasons and a stable climate.
  • NASA engineers have determined that the unmanned Kepler Space Telescope has only enough propellant left in its attitude control system to keep it properly oriented for a few more months. When this runs out, the spacecraft will no longer be able to collect data or transmit it to Earth.
  • Red dwarf stars are of particular interest to astronomers hunting down distant worlds. The latest study of Kepler data has now identified 15 new exoplanets around red dwarfs, including a system of three “Super-Earths” – one of which appears to be orbiting within the host star’s habitable zone.
  • With thousands of exoplanets confirmed, it's now possible to learn something about how they are organized. An international team of scientists has found that exoplanets revolving around the same star show a pattern of similar sizes and regular orbital spacing.
  • Data from the Kepler Space Telescope has revealed the Kepler-90 system​ ties with our own for the most number of planets known to orbit a single star. The discovery of an eighth exoplanet, Kepler-90i, was achieved using artificial intelligence software.
  • Thousands of exoplanets have been spotted by looking for “transits” as light from the host star dips when a planet passes in front of it. Now scientists have examined whether Earth could be detected by other civilizations using the same technique, and 68 known exoplanets are in prime positions.
  • The Kepler Space Telescope is not only a dab hand at finding exoplanets, it's also revealing the secrets of the Seven Sisters, also known as the Pleiades, thanks to Kepler's instruments combined with algorithms devised by a team from Aarhus University.
  • ​NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has discovered more than two thousand exoplanets since launching seven years ago, and a newly compiled catalogue of candidates could soon give this tally a sizeable boost.