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Saturday, June 15, 2013 1:11am -0400

Kepler Finds 503 New Exo-Planet Candidates.

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Worlds Away Worlds Away Billy Nendza

The Kepler Team announced last week that they have found 503 new planet candidates to add to the growing list of alien planets found. This now means there are potentially 3,216 planets outside our solar system that we know about. Some of the candidates are small and in the habitable zone of their star. Although the Kepler spacecraft remains in its Point Rest State, scientist and citizens still have years of data  to sift through. Before the launch of Kepler on March 7, 2009, only a few handfulls of planet candidates had been detected. Now the number has exploded into thousands of alien worlds. Each one of them keeping us on the front of our seat for what they will find next!

Kepler is studying over 150,000 stars in our neighborhood of our galaxy in the Cygnus and Lyra constellations. Most of these stars will be somewhere between 500 and 3,000 light years from our Solar System. The Kepler team has now identified 503 additional planet candidates in this small region of the sky. The telescope uses the transit method which involves observing repeated transit of planets in front of their stars, which causes a slight reduction in the star's apparent magnitude.

Milky Way

Below is an excerpt from the Kepler Mission Manager Update:

The Kepler spacecraft remains in its Point Rest State (PRS) and is operating well in this mode...

With the spacecraft in PRS, its immediate safety is no longer an urgent concern, so an Anomaly Response Team has been formed to manage the wheel recovery efforts...

Analysis of the Kepler data continues. Last week the team delivered 1,924 new Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) to the NASA Exoplanet Archive...Of the 1,924 new KOIs, 503 already have been dispositioned as planet candidates...These newly announced planet candidates bring the current count of Kepler planet candidates to 3,216. Some of these new planet candidates are small and some reside in the habitable zone of their stars, but much work remains to be done to verify these results.

Credit: Kepler/NASA


Read 5681 times Last modified on Thursday, June 20, 2013 2:01pm -0400
Laurel Nendza

Laurel Nendza is the owner and creator of Stellar Eyes.