Written by Samah Labib
Thursday, 01 June 2023 04:00 AM
The Kepler space telescope shut down in 2018 after a nine-year mission that saw 2,600 discoveries. outer planet Certain, ushering in the modern era of exoplanet research.
But now there are three more exoplanets to add to the mission total, even after the telescope has been dark for the past five years as astronomers were recently able to use data from recent Kepler observations to discover three more planets, digitartlend reports.
Two of the three exoplanets — K2-416 b and K2-417 b — have been confirmed, with a third, EPIC 246 2519 88 b, remaining an exoplanet candidate. (To upgrade from an exoplanet to a confirmed exoplanet, the initial observation must be verified by observations with two more telescopes. Planets range in size from 2.6 times Earth size to 4 times the size of Earth, making it small compared to most exoplanets discovered.
And the planets themselves may not be the most exciting discoveries, according to the researchers, but what sets them apart is the way they were discovered.
“These are fairly intermediate planets in the grand scheme of Kepler’s observations,” lead researcher Elise Ensha of the University of Wisconsin-Madison said in a statement. But they are exciting because Kepler has monitored them over the last few days of operations. It showcases just how good Kepler is at hunting planets even at the end of its life. .