Skip to comments.Ailing Kepler telescope spots 503 new potential alien planets
Posted on 06/14/2013 10:35:37 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
NASA's Kepler spacecraft has spotted 503 new potential alien worlds, some of which may be capable of supporting life as we know it... The latest haul brings Kepler's tally of exoplanet candidates to 3,216. Just 132 of them have been confirmed by follow-up observations to date, but mission scientists expect at least 90 percent will end up being the real deal.
The new finds were pulled from observations Kepler made during its first three years of operation, from May 2009 to March 2012, researchers said. The telescope hasn't done any planet hunting since being hobbled by a failure in its orientation-maintaining system last month...
Kepler spots exoplanets by detecting the tiny brightness dips caused when they pass in front of their stars' faces from the instrument's perspective. The observatory does this precision work by staying locked onto 150,000-plus target stars using three gyroscope-like devices called reaction wheels.
Kepler launched with four functioning reaction wheels three for immediate use and one spare. But one wheel, known as No. 2, failed in July 2012. And a second (No. 4) gave up the ghost last month, robbing the spacecraft of its precision pointing ability.
If at least one of the failed wheels cannot be recovered, Kepler's planet-hunting days are almost certainly over and a new mission will have to be drawn up for the spacecraft.
(Excerpt) Read more at science.nbcnews.com ...
NASA's Kepler mission is searching for Earth-like planets by looking for them to cross the face of alien stars.
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Did it spot anybody waving?
Sucks I looked up at the sky tonight and spotted an unknowable number of habitable planets only using one eye. Some were only a hundred billion light years away.
To explore, strange new worlds...
Irrelevant discovery. all those habitable planets are so many light years away. It will require a million generations of human beings to survive in a spacecraft to reach them. IOW it is more than impossible. Stick to improving living conditions on earth, the only planet we will ever survive freely.
In other words, don’t look up!
Turn the telescope on the White Hut and the Annex and one can see a thousand or more traitorous dogs ruining this nation.
thanks, for the ping.
Knowledge isn’t complete, so, no.
...to boldly go...
Agreed. As long as there is one impoverished, hungry mouth to feed on Earth, we should cease all space exploration. Dittos for scientific advancement of any kind. Who cares? R&D is just welfare for nerds.
Kepler spots 503 new alien planets...and Harry Reid immediately demands they all be granted amnesty.
DO not pivot on what I said. I worked 35 years in R&D. Developed some fantastic products...ALL FOR USE ON EARTH by people. Nothing is gained to further human condition by knowledge of how many habitable planets exit in the universe if they are light years away. Total waste of precious earth resources which we are consuming at a faster and faster rate. Earth has finite resources. To waste them is a hideous crime just to keep a few nerds employed.
Zackly what I said. Too many hungry mouths to feed here, there is no point in trying to learn anything about what’s out there. Not one dime for space if there’s one hungry child, right?
(35 years of R&D shot to hell if that’s what you believe.)
Did you have trouble with English comprehension in high-school?
Nothing wrong my comprehension, I understand you perfectly well when you say learning about space should not be undertaken when there are hungry mouths to feed.
I’m done with you.