The University of Arizona has confirmed that NASA's Kepler spacecraft has found more than 100 planets near the solar system. This information was revealed at the American Astronomical Society conference that took place in Kissimmee, Florida.
NASA's Kepler mission has been reported to discover more than 100 planets orbiting other stars. This information was shared by Ian Crossfield of the University of Arizona at the American Astronomical Society's 227th meeting that took place on Jan. 4-8 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida.
According to Crossfield's report, the new-found planets are in multiplanet systems and are orbiting stars that are hotter and brighter than the stars in the Kepler's original field. The spacecraft has found planets much bigger than Earth and spotted other planets in the Hyades cluster, an open star cluster near Earth. It also discovered and documented a planet being ripped apart.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics' Andrew Vanderburg states that the Kepler mission has also discovered 234 possible planets that are awaiting confirmation. NASA Ames Research Center's Tom Barclay, on the other hand, states that the Kepler spacecraft is probing different types of planets.
The Kepler's mission is to focus on stars that are much brighter, stars that are nearby and stars that are easy to understand and observe from planet Earth. The idea of the mission is to find the most interesting systems and other systems besides the Milky Way.
The first Kepler mission discovered more than 1,000 new planets as it stared the same star-filled sky watching periodic blips in starlight from 2009 to 2013 caused by orbiting planets. However, scientists repaired a mechanical malfunction of the spacecraft's lost ability to stare at the same spot with a tweak in its steering ability. Since then, it has been studying planets that have been orbiting the stars and has been spying on supernovas.
The Kepler spacecraft has also collected information that reveals the solar system's birth 4.6 billion years ago. It also discovered a habitable zone on a new planet orbiting two stars where life could potentially exist.