Tag Archives | Kepler

NASA’s Kepler Spacecraft Nearing the End as Fuel Runs Low

Trailing Earth’s orbit at 94 million miles away, the Kepler space telescope has survived many potential knock-outs during its nine years in flight, from mechanical failures to being blasted by cosmic rays. At this rate, the hardy spacecraft may reach its finish line in a manner we will consider a wonderful success. original

Continue Reading

Kepler Shifts Its View Toward Targets in the Constellation Virgo

The seventeenth observing campaign of the Kepler spacecraft’s K2 extended mission is now underway. The cartoon illustrates some of the objects of interest that Kepler is observing for 68 days, from Mar. 1 to May 8, 2018. The campaign has prospects for discoveries among more 30,000 objects in the direction of the constellation Virgo. original

Continue Reading

Kepler-90 System Planet Sizes

The Kepler-90 planets have a similar configuration to our solar system with small planets found orbiting close to their star, and the larger planets found farther away. original

Continue Reading

Kepler-90 Planets Orbit Close to Their Star

Kepler-90 is a Sun-like star, but all of its eight planets are scrunched into the equivalent distance of Earth to the Sun. The inner planets have extremely tight orbits with a “year” on Kepler-90i lasting only 14.4 days. In comparison, Mercury’s orbit is 88 days. Consequently, Kepler-90i has an average surface temperature of 800 degrees […]

Continue Reading

Could Kepler-90 Have More Planets?

This graphic shows that a small area around the Kepler-90 system, on the left, has been searched by the Kepler space telescope. Compared to our solar system, where we know of planets farther out, it is possible that Kepler-90 has even more planets. If planets (in the blue area) do exist, they probably would not […]

Continue Reading

Space, astronomy and science