Spacewatch: Nasa retires planet hunter after it runs out of fuel

The space agency explained that Kepler has run out of fuel for other scientific operations and that, for that reason, NASA has chosen to remove the telescope within its current orbit, far from Earth. As an astronomical passing of the baton, in the last month of Kepler's mission, both TESS and Kepler simultaneously observed over a hundred of the same stars.

Unlike Cassini, whose kamikaze plunge into Saturn was its final, fiery farewell to the universe, Kepler will get a decommissioning command beamed to it from the NASA team on Earth. The European Space Agency is now testing the CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (Cheops), which will accurately measure the density of planets around other stars to determine if they are rocky planets like Earth.

NASA's OG planet hunter had spent nine years in deep space and discovered 2,600 previously unknown planets that may or may not be breeding alien life (and indicated the existence of billions more).

"It not only showed us how many planets could be out there, but it also generated a whole new field of research. Its discoveries have shed a new light on our place in the universe, and illuminated the tantalising mysteries and possibilities among the stars".

Launched in 2009, Kepler observed 530,506 stars and discovered more than 2600 confirmed planets. But in place of that Kepler was seen to found a rich diversity of planets which is around many types of stars. It had installed the largest digital camera for space observations with which t was able to collect data about the Milky Way, supernova, the behavior of planets and stars that are orbiting around the planets outside the solar system. Scientists have said that Kepler telescope, which helps in discovering 2,600 planets, has finished fuel, so he is retiring. "Now that we know planets are everywhere, Kepler has set us on a new course that's full of promise for future generations to explore our galaxy".

Kepler was originally positioned to watch 150,000 stars in a patch of sky within the constellation Cygnus. Four years into the mission, osbervations were halted by mechanical failures. The most recent analysis of Kepler's discoveries concludes that 20 to 50 percent of the stars visible in the night sky are likely to have small, possibly rocky, planets similar in size to Earth, and located within the habitable zone of their parent stars.


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