NASA’s venerable Kepler space telescope, which discovered nearly 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. When it launched in 2009, it was equipped with “the largest digital camera outfitted for outer…
Unwilling to go quietly into that good night, the Kepler Space Telescope is once again gathering scientific data—despite a malfunctioning thruster and painfully low levels of fuel.
NASA’s storied Kepler Space Telescope—the craft which has discovered thousands of exoplanets since its launch in 2009—is entering the retirement phase of its lifespan. NASA announced on Friday that Kepler staff had “received an indication that the spacecraft fuel tank is running very low” and “placed the spacecraft in…
There are eight planets in our Solar System (sorry Pluto), but collectively, these planets host over 175 moons, one or two of which may even harbor life. Indeed, our galaxy, based on what we observe here, could be bursting with exomoons, a significant number of which may be capable of fostering life, according to new…
If all goes according to plan, NASA’s new Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, will launch today at 6:32 pm ET from Cape Canaveral.
Supernovae produce some of the most powerful explosions in the cosmos, expelling a doomed star’s contents at velocities reaching 10 percent the speed of light. It usually takes a few weeks or months for a supernova to fade into nothingness, but astronomers have now documented a record-setting case in which a star was…
The space-based telescope responsible for detecting 2,245 exoplanets, and another 2,342 yet to be confirmed, is running out of fuel and may have just a few months left before its lights go out. The Kepler spacecraft will go down in history as one of the greatest astronomical tools ever used to scan the heavens.
Kepler is the gift that keeps on giving. After suffering a major malfunction five years ago, the rejiggered space-based telescope continues to churn away, scanning the heavens for signs of distant worlds. An international team of astronomers has now released the results of its latest survey, confirming the existence…
For the first time in history, a crowdsourced team of amateur citizen scientists has discovered a multi-planetary system. Located 620 light years away, the system contains five exoplanets, and possibly a sixth, the majority of which are super-Earths.
Amid considerable hype of its own making, NASA is announcing the discovery an eighth planet around the distant solar system, Kepler 90.
NASA’S Kepler Space telescope might have gotten a new lease on life in 2014 when scientists figured out how to repurpose the damaged telescope, but it now appears that it’s in trouble once again.
The Kepler Space Telescope has found over 1,000 confirmed exoplanets. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Kepler is a planet-hunting powerhouse. Even more impressive? Kepler is already finding new candidates after whirling around to its new view for the continuing mission last month.
I'm enchanted by Alex Parker's visualization of the planets discovered by the first phase of the Kepler Space Telescope's exoplanet-hunting mission. The simple swarm of time-vs-distance for exoplanetary orbits captures the overwhelming number of alien worlds with a minimalistic, elegant aesthetic.
Using a new verification technique, Kepler scientists have confirmed the existence of 715 new exoplanets — four of which are located within their star's habitable zone. It's the single largest windfall of new confirmations at any one time.
It would appear that news of Kepler's demise has been greatly exaggerated. The planet-hunting space telescope, which suffered a major malfunction last May, is back online — and it's already managed to observe another planet.
NASA’s Kepler space telescope is busted and it may never work normally again. But during its four years of exemplary service, the planet-hunting telescope provided astronomers with an unprecedented glimpse into the Milky Way. Here are the most incredible discoveries made by Kepler.
Yet another piece of evidence that our world is not as unique as we feared: There's a solar system out there that's like ours in one extremely vital respect, according to a group of scientists from MIT and the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Scientific American has launched a nifty new app that lets you explore exoplanets - planets outside our own solar system - from the comfort of your iPad.
Exoplanet Kepler-19b orbits its star in ways that violate the laws of physics, speeding up and slowing down its orbit for no apparent reason. The only explanation is a second, hidden planet...making it the first "phantom" exoplanet ever found.
This amazing image takes all 1,235 of the candidate planets spotted by NASA's Kepler telescope, and then shows them in orbit around their stars. And all of this is still just the tiniest fraction of the entire Milky Way.