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End of the Road for Kepler

September 29, 2013
Deutsche Welle / Powered by
Is the earth unique? Or is there life somewhere else out there in space? The NASA built space telescope Kepler was designed to give us some initial answers to these questions. The flying telescope was launched in 2009 and until summer of 2013, when it became clear that a defect in two of Kepler's reaction wheels was irreparable, rendering it unsuitable for the task of searching for planets. The sudden end to the mission was a shock for planetary researchers given its tremendous success until that point. Kepler found 135 earth-like planets. Only a fraction of the data has been analyzed so far. We talk to scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research who are looking at the data and searching for habitable planets outside our solar system.

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last updated on 2015-04-21 at 9:25 am EDT

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Polish Astronomers Seek Planets With Two Suns

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Reuters (Sep. 12, 2012) — A team of scientists from the Polish Academy of Sciences in Torun are using four remotely controlled telescopes placed around the globe to search for circumbinary systems - multiple transiting planets orbiting two suns. They hope to emulate NASA's Kepler mission, which which located such a system last month.
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