Kepler

Kepler


Kepler is a space probe on a mission to discover planets around other stars (also known as exoplanets). To date, Kepler has discovered approximately one thousand planets in the Milky Way galaxy. Because Kepler studies the different types of planets and solar systems that exist in the Milky Way, astronomers have been able to estimate that there are at least 100 billion planets in our galaxy alone. In 2013, the space probe experienced a mechanical failure that made it unable to accurately point the telescope enough to observe exoplanets. NASA subsequently issued a call for proposals on how to hack the space probe so that it could continue to perform science. In 2014, NASA approved one of the proposals, kicking off the “K2” mission and the continuation of Kepler’s data collection.

Latest News: Problems look mighty small from 150 miles up. http://spaceipsum.com
(top image: Kepler's field of view, NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech)