Space telescope “Kepler” has officially completed its work

Space telescope “Kepler” discovered 70 percent of 3800 confirmed exoplanets, ran out of fuel. About it late in the evening of October 30, officially announced space Agency NASA. The telescope is no longer able to change their position to change the study objectives, and to transmit the collected data to the Ground. After almost a decade of working life of the legendary space the seeker had come to its end.

The announcement, admittedly, was not a surprise. Space Agency NASA several months ago I reported the sad news that the telescope runs out of fuel. Because of this, the device even several times translated into hibernation mode to prolong the time it works as possible. In fact, the fuel tanks of the telescope completely empty two weeks ago, however, NASA employees were not sure until the last moment, so the statement about the completion of the work, “Kepler”, took place only now.

“Kepler has shown us how numerous and varied may be unfamiliar worlds. He changed our view of how we need to look at the night sky,” commented one of the leaders of the project “Kepler” Jessie Dotson from the Ames Research center.

Since its launch in 2009, the telescope has discovered thousands of alien worlds. Some of them may be inhabited

To search for new exoplanets, Kepler used the transit method. The unit observed the change in brightness of the stars. If in the particular solar system are planets, passing stars, they will reduce its overall brightness level of closing of the starlight in transit.

This change of brightness was so small that initially, NASA officials were skeptical regarding the efficiency of these calculations. Main researcher in the project “Kepler” bill Boruca (retired in 2015) four times refused in the implementation of the mission in the 90-ies, but in 2000, he was lucky. Together with his team he showed incredible accuracy the future of the tool in a test lab on Earth.

However, for the construction of the device took nearly a dozen years. The mission of the unit cost $ 600 million, started in March 2009. Initially, the telescope observed only for a small portion of the space while also learning about 150,000 stars. However, this work was very productive, because thanks to the “Kepler”, scientists have confirmed the existence of exoplanets 2327.

In may 2013, “Kepler” is out of order the mechanism that allowed the machine to navigate in space. The telescope could not be in the same position, making it impossible the observation of the transit of planets orbiting distant stars. It would seem that this is the end. Send a team of engineers in a manned mission to fix the telescope was impossible, as the apparatus revolved around the Sun, not the Earth we were separated by millions of kilometers. And yet scientists at NASA figured out how to stabilize the position of the telescope. To do this is suggested due to the pressure of sunlight. The idea worked and in 2014 began a new “life” of “Kepler” and its mission K2.

In the new mission “Kepler” has conducted monitoring of a variety of different space objects and phenomena ranging from comets and asteroids in our Solar system and ending with the supernova explosions in distant galaxies.

The work of the telescope showed that the number of planets in the milky Way is much greater than the number of available stars in our galaxy. On this basis, scientists have concluded that sampletable planets found in our galaxy much more often than previously thought. Scientific data confirmed this assumption and indicated that approximately 20 percent dalnezapadny stars at least one or more planets are in the so-called habitable zone – the space where the temperature readings on the surface of planets suitable for existence of liquid water.

Towards the end of his life Kepler has observed more than 500 000 stars, providing scientists with new data about how the structure of those objects.

Despite the fact that the work “Kepler” is officially over, a huge set of the collected data it will require from the scientists than one year analytical research. About 2,900 candidates in exoplanets detected by the apparatus are still waiting for their confirmation. The team “Kepler” has no doubt that most of these candidates really going to be exoplanets.

Recall that the receiver’s “Kepler” was launched in April this year, the space telescope TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite). He will be engaged in the search for new worlds orbiting closest to our Sun stars (again, using the transit method, like its predecessor).

Some of the most interesting discoveries TESS will be the order for another telescope of new generation – “James Webb”. Suffering device worth 8.9 billion dollars (the cost of development at the moment) still can not run, but according to the latest data, promise to do it in 2021. The possibility of “Webb” are head and shoulders beyond the capacity of “Kepler” and TESS together. The unit will be able not only to search for exoplanets, but also to study their atmospheres, “MINUGUA” methane, oxygen and other gases, which can indicate the presence of life on these worlds.

To discuss the news in our Telegram chat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *