January 18, 2019

‘Goodnight, Kepler’: NASA’s Planet-Hunting Telescope Has Finally Run Out Of Fuel

02 November 2018, 04:13 | Edward Lowe

This illustration depicts NASA’s exoplanet hunter the Kepler space

This illustration depicts NASA’s exoplanet hunter the Kepler space

NASA's venerable Kepler space telescope, which discovered almost 2,700 exoplanets in distant star systems, has officially been retired after finally running out of fuel, the space agency wrote in a statement on Tuesday. Scientists credit it for changing the way they think about other worlds that may be visited someday.

The planet-hunting spacecraft, credited with discovering thousands of exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system, will be retired and left in its current orbit, a safe distance from Earth, NASA announced Tuesday.

Kepler helped astronomers estimate between 20 to 50 percent of the stars we see in the night sky have planets the size of Earth around them.

NASA's new world-spotter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, launched in April.

Nearly lost in 2013 because of equipment failure, Kepler was salvaged by engineers and kept peering into the cosmos, thick with stars and galaxies, ever on the lookout for dips in in the brightness of stars that could indicate an orbiting planet. But in August of 2018, the device has been turned on and off with a broken telescope Kepler found 44 previously unknown exoplanets.

Novak Djokovic hails his return to the top as ‘phenomenal’
Canada's Milos Raonic has also pulled out of his second-round match against Roger Federer with a right elbow injury. Dimitrov was a victor over Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (10), 6-4 in his debut with Andre Agassi in the coaching box.

"The search for planets is the search for life", said Natalie Batalha, a longtime Kepler mission scientist now at the University of California, Santa Cruz, during a conference in 2017.

NASA Astrophysics Division Director Paul Hertz made the announcement during a teleconference today that included Bill Borucki, Kepler's principal investigator.

Kepler's data also provided a new way to assess whether a planet had a solid surface, like Earth and Mars, or is gaseous, like Jupiter and Saturn.

Thomas Zurbuchen, the head of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said Kepler "wildly exceeded all our expectations" and "sparked an entirely new and robust field of research that has taken the science community by storm..." "Now that we know planets are everywhere, Kepler has set us on a new course that's full of promise for future generations to explore our galaxy".

There is so much data that scientists are expecting to spend a decade in search of treasure in the trove that Kepler has provided.

Ten times over the limit: drunk Japanese pilot arrested in London
Earlier, the police were alerted by the crew bus driver, who smelled alcohol on the pilot, as reported Japanese broadcaster NHK. The new system, which is already in place for Japanese domestic flights, will send test results back to Japan in real time.

The Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-Ray Observatory experienced technical problems earlier this month that have since been fully repaired.

Kepler watched the very beginning of exploding stars, or supernovae, to gain unprecedented insight about stars and witnessed the death of a solar system. The new mission, studying near and bright stars, was dubbed K2.

"We know the spacecraft's retirement isn't the end of Kepler's discoveries", Kepler Project Scientist Jessie Dotson said. JWST will take pictures in infrared light, which is invisible to human eyes yet flawless for studying planets through the clouds of gas and dust in space that typically obscure distant worlds.

1,815 of those planets were on 726 multiplanet systems and YouTuber Ethan Kruse has used data taken from NASA's Exoplanet Archive to make an illustrative video of those planets. "I'm excited about the diverse discoveries that are yet to come from our data and how future missions will build upon Kepler's results".

Free flu shot drive-thru clinics planned in Douglas County
The flu vaccine doesn't prevent against all flu-causing viruses, but it is formulated to protect against the most common ones. Catching the flu is not only uncomfortable; it can be unsafe , especially if you already have a weakened immune system.

Other News

Trending Now

Tennessee executes double murderer by electrocution
Supreme Court has denied a request to halt the scheduled execution of a Tennessee inmate in the electric chair. There some raised a banner with the words: "A Free Tennessee is Execution-Free".

Pence's Message To Oprah: 'I'm Kind Of A Big Deal Too'
Kemp, Georgia's secretary of state, has been challenged for his decision to freeze some 50,000 voter applications. More than 1.5 million of the state's nearly seven million registered voters have cast ballots already.

Daniel Cormier Warns Brock Lesnar, Stay Outta My Octagon!
Assuming Cormier finds a way to win, his next fight will likely come down to two possible opponents: Brock Lesnar or Jon Jones . We also see Lewis take in an National Basketball Association game featuring the Houston Rockets and family time for Cormier.

Saudi Sisters From Va. Were Alive When They Entered Hudson River
A spokesperson for the institute called the news of her death "tragic", and said the university was cooperating with police. They disappeared from Fairfax, Virginia, in late September and were thought to have been travelling together to New...

Police making sure sex offenders don't answer trick-or-treaters
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder says kids should trick-or-treat in groups and not go inside strangers' homes if invited. The program was canceled this year, and thousands of kids will be trick-or-treating the old fashioned way: house-to-house.

Did Jared Kushner Cover For Saudi Crown Prince In Journalist's Murder?
Khashoggi's family have denounced any suggestion the journalist participated in Brotherhood activities. The Saudi attorney general has since acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated murder .

Pakistan’s Supreme Court Acquits Christian Woman of Blasphemy Charges
He also invoked blessings on the nation saying Muslims, Christians and other, all are citizens of Pakistan and love their country. Islamists in Pakistan's largest city of Karachi and in the northwestern city of Peshawar were also gathering for the protests .

Ariana Grande To Perform In Pittsburgh On World Tour
So far, the 25-year-old has only announced dates in the U.S. - but she's expected to add European dates soon. Rapper Mac Miller , Grande's longtime boyfriend, died in September of an apparent drug overdose.

Armed police respond to stabbing at Sony Music's London HQ building
A 15-year-old boy was taken to hospital last night after being found with knife wounds in Bellingham, Lewisham. One onlooker said: 'Large crowds of people began exiting the building's front door at around 11 o clock.

Sony sold almost 4 million PS4s in the last three months
The company's PlayStation business brought in 27% higher revenue compared to a year ago , totalling $4.9 billion in sales. Quarterly sales totaled 2.18 trillion yen ($19.3 billion), up from 2.06 trillion yen.