Monday, 17 December, 2018

New Planets Discovered During K2 Mission

The Spanish champions set to work at their Valdebebas training base in the capital The Spanish champions set to work at their Valdebebas training base in the capital
Sandra Phillips | 15 February, 2018, 20:04

To date, we've uncovered 3,600 of these planets, and scientists believe billions more lurk in the Milky Way.

NASA's K2 mission-the current focus of the Kepler spacecraft-has revealed 95 new planets beyond our solar system.

Mayo and his colleagues sorted through the data, analyzing analyzing each potential exoplanet and ultimately validated 149 of them. Upcoming space missions like NASA's James Webb Space Telescope and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will take major steps to characterize and study such habitable, Earth-like planets.

The discovery almost doubles the number of exoplanets found by the K2 mission. This research has been underway since the first K2 release in 2014.

A candidate exoplanet is measured by the shadow it causes as it crosses its host star.

The research has since expanded to include global collaboration with institutions like NASA, Caltech, The University of Copenhagen, UC Berkeley, and the University of Tokyo.

The Kepler spacecraft was launched in 2009 and was re-purposed by engineers and astronomers after a mechanical failure in 2013.

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Kepler finds exoplanets by looking for dips in the light from a star as a planet passes across its face during its orbit.

It allowed researchers to uncover a new field of exoplanets, raising hopes for the prospect of life beyond earth. The dips indicate that the planets exist, which then must be examined more closely in order to determine whether they are, in fact, a planet.

"We found that some of the signals were caused by multiple star systems or noise from the spacecraft".

Astronomers may be able to even glean information about its atmosphere, as they have done for TRAPPIST-1 planets.

The search for new exoplanets is now one of the most exciting areas of space science, one that is providing fascinating insights into our universe.

"We validated a planet on a 10 day orbit around a star called HD 212657, which is now the brightest star found by either the Kepler or K2 missions to host a validated planet".

This is partially about the search for extraterrestrial life, but also because statistical data about the universe around us - such as how many planets there are, the average number of planets per system, and the number of rocky and gaseous planets - can tell us more about how typical (or not) our own Solar System is, and how it fits into our Universe. However, they were eventually able to confirm the discovery of 95 new exoplanets, ranging in size from smaller than Earth to bigger than Jupiter, and even larger.

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