The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kepler Telescope Did Indeed Find Planets ... MANY, MANY Planets ... and More

The American Astronomical Society decreed this month that the Kepler Space Telescope did indeed find a great many planets orbiting other stars. This was the wrap up report from four years of ground-based follow up observations that has the astronomers convinced that Kepler did not tell a lie. The great bulk of these alien worlds range from Earth to Neptune sizes. Called mini Neptunes, these worlds make up the vast majority of the galactic census of worlds ... and yet, we don't have one ourselves. It's a puzzler for the scientists. At this point it is unknown if these worlds are rocky or gassy sorts ... but has lead to the hypothesis that there may be a whole lot of "super Earths" out there, larger and more hospitable to life than our own. Is this the connection to that hypothesis? I'm not sure but I'll dig around and check.

In other happy Kepler news, engineers believe they have found a way to keep Kepler operating reliably on just two of the four gyroscopic reaction wheels that hold her in place. Hopefully, Kepler will be finding more worlds soon.

For another post on Kepler, see: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2011/02/kepler-space-telescope-finds-5-earth.html
For more on this report from NASA, see: http://kepler.nasa.gov/news/nasakeplernews/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=316

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