NASA's Kepler Space Telescope to retire :UPSC

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The Kepler space telescope has run out of fuel and will be retired after a 9-1/2-year mission in which it detected thousands of planets beyond our solar system and boosted the search for worlds that might harbour alien life.


*After nine years in deep space collecting data that indicate our sky to be filled with billions of hidden planets - more planets even than stars - NASA's Kepler space telescope has run out of fuel needed for further science operations.
*Currently orbiting the sun 156 million km from the earth, the spacecraft will drift further from our planet when mission engineers turn off its radio transmitters
*The telescope laid bare the diversity of planets that reside in our Milky Way galaxy, with findings indicating that distant star systems are populated with billions of planets, and even helped pinpoint the first moon known outside our solar system.
*Kepler leaves a legacy of more than 2,600 planet discoveries from outside our solar system, many of which could be promising places for life.
* Kepler has wildly exceeded all our expectations and paved the way for our exploration and search for life in the solar system and beyond.

About Kepler Spacecraft:

*Kepler is a retired space observatory launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars.
* Named after astronomer Johannes Kepler, the spacecraft was launched on March 7, 2009, into an Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit.
*Designed to survey a portion of our region of the Milky Way to discover Earth-size exoplanets in or near habitable zones and estimate how many of the billions of stars in the Milky Way have such planets.
*Kepler's sole scientific instrument is a photometer that continually monitors the brightness of approx 150,000 main sequence stars in a fixed field of view.
*These data are transmitted to Earth, then analyzed to detect periodic dimming caused by exoplanets that cross in front of their host star.
*Only planets whose orbits are seen edge-on from Earth can be detected. During its over nine years of service, Kepler observed 530,506 stars and detected 2,662 planets.
NASA's Kepler Space Telescope to retire :UPSC NASA's Kepler Space Telescope to retire :UPSC Reviewed by The Hindu Current Affairs on November 01, 2018 Rating: 5

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