Kepler spacecraft

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NASA's Kepler Craft in Trouble

Spacecraft entered emergency mode 75M miles from home

(Newser) - NASA's Kepler spacecraft is roughly 75 million miles from Houston and has a bit of a problem: The space agency says that its exoplanet-hunting craft is in emergency mode, a status engineers discovered Thursday, reports CNN . "Emergency mode is the lowest operational mode and is fuel intensive,"... More »

Kepler 'Rises From the Ashes,' Finds a 'Super-Earth'

Unlivable new planet about 2.5 times the size of Earth discovered during K2 mission

(Newser) - The Kepler spacecraft has had its shares of ups and downs since its 2009 launch. The downs have included a 2013 mechanical failure that left Kepler supposedly "beyond repair" . The ups have included a "resourceful strategy" that made use of pressure from sunlight to allow Kepler to be... More »

Planet-Hunting Kepler Craft Has Big Setback

Malfunction threatens ability to look for Earth-like bodies

(Newser) - It seems like NASA is announcing the discovery of a new Earth-like planet every few weeks—like so , and so , and so —but those days might be over for a long while. Not that there aren't more discoveries to make, it's just that the spacecraft responsible for... More »

Scientists Find 11 New Planetary Systems

Triples number of known multiplanetary star systems

(Newser) - The Kepler space telescope has discovered a whopping 11 new planetary systems that are home to 26 planets—thus tripling the number of stars that have more than one planet that passes in front of them and doubling the number of exoplanets confirmed by the Kepler mission. "Prior to... More »

NASA Finds Planet Circling Two Stars

Sadly, it's not Tatooine

(Newser) - NASA has found another decidedly nifty planet. Meet Kepler-16b, the first planet ever verified to have two suns—kind of like Tatooine from Star Wars, NASA noted in its announcement . There’s no way the Saturn-sized world is habitable—it’s at least half gas—but “the discovery confirms... More »

In the Stars, Astronomers Find Music

By measuring minute changes in light, researchers can 'hear' the stars

(Newser) - The ancients believed in the "music of the spheres"—that the planets and stars moved through the heavens in harmonic ratios. Today's astronomers are also "listening" to the stars, using the powerful Kepler telescope to measure their internal vibrations, a technique they call "astroseismology." So... More »

5 New Earth-Like Planets Spotted

Hello, is anyone out there?

(Newser) - Scientists have spotted five new planets orbiting stars in our galaxy that are close to the size of Earth and are located in a "habitable zone," according to researchers. They're the right distance from their stars that make the existence of life-essential liquid water possible. The planets are... More »

Observatory to Unveil Search for Other Earths, Life

Kepler observatory to release early findings this week

(Newser) - There's a roving eye watching deep space for signs that the truth—or at least other Earth-like planets or even life—is out there, and we're going to get a glimpse this week. The $600 million Kepler observatory is tracking a small piece of sky filled with some 4.5... More »

NASA Finds Smallest Planet Outside Our Solar System

But Kepler-10b is too hot for human habitation

(Newser) - The Kepler space telescope has discovered a rocky planet that’s just 1.4 times the size of Earth orbiting a distant star—making it the smallest planet NASA has ever discovered outside of our solar system, and the only rocky one, NASA announced today. The bad news: The planet,... More »

NASA Finds Singing Stars

Telescope spots sound waves traveling through space

(Newser) - NASA has discovered a group of massive red stars that are actually humming to themselves. The planet-hunting Kepler space telescope recently spotted sound waves emanating from the stars, the Wall Street Journal reports. NASA recorded the tune, and played it recently at a press conference in Denmark. “It is... More »

Discovery of Earth's Twin 'Within Reach'

Kepler will find habitable planet like ours: astronomer

(Newser) - The Kepler spacecraft prowling the far reaches of the Milky Way will soon find a habitable planet similar to earth, a leading astronomer is convinced. Recent technological advances in the observation of planets outside our own solar system have rapidly brought us closer to finding earth's "twin" planet,... More »

NASA Planet Hunter Finds 5 New Worlds

Glowing hot planets found, 100 possibles being analyzed

(Newser) - NASA's planet-hunting Kepler telescope has found its first five planets outside our solar system, and they're all hotter than molten lava.The planets are all much bigger than Earth and orbit their suns very closely. Their discovery is a dramatic demonstration that Kepler is working well, boosting the hopes of... More »

Kepler Begins Search for Other 'Earths'

Spacecraft will spend next 3 years searching for planet in 'Goldilocks zone'

(Newser) - NASA's planet-hunting spacecraft Kepler was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral last night, Space.com reports. Kepler, the widest-field telescope ever sent into space, will spend the next three years scanning the sky for a planet in the "Goldilocks zone" where conditions are just right for liquid water to exist... More »

NASA Begins Hunt for Earth-Like Planets

(Newser) - NASA will launch its Kepler space telescope tomorrow on a 3-year mission to look for planets as habitable to life as Earth, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Kepler will use a sophisticated digital camera, 10 times more sensitive than consumer models, to survey distant stars for orbiting planets with just... More »

Alien Life 'Inevitable': Astronomer

Countless Earth-like planets likely in universe

(Newser) - Scientists now believe there could be as many habitable planets in the cosmos as there are stars, and that makes life’s existence elsewhere “inevitable” over billions of years, says one. “It is sort of like running an experiment in your refrigerator—turn it off and something will... More »

If Another Earth Is Out There, Kepler Will Find it

NASA telescope designed to look for life-sustaining planets

(Newser) - If there's truly no place like home, then NASA's new Kepler mission will help scientists prove it. The space telescope, set to launch March 5, will scan the skies for planets with the approximate size and temperature range of Earth. Matches could be candidates for extraterrestrial life; if Kepler finds... More »

New Planets Yield Hopes of Life Beyond

Rocky, Earth-like orbs appear to be out there; might we indeed have company?

(Newser) - The discovery, announced last week, that rocky, Earth-sized planets appear to be circling sun-sized stars in our own galaxy should thrill the closet Star Trek geek in all of us, Natalie Angier writes in the New York Times. "If planets abound, scientists suspect that life abounds, too, at least... More »

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