Astronomers shown last Kepler image - N + 1

NASA / Ames Research Center


The team of the Kepler telescope, which stopped working last year, published the latest image of a telescope camera. A few hours after the shooting, the Exoplanet Hunter finally completed its research activities, according to a press release on the NASA website.

The Kepler Space Telescope was launched on 6 March 2009. Its main task was to search for exoplanets using transient photometry. In the first three years that the device was used, the device found more than three and a half thousand candidates for exoplanets, most of them small planets that exceeded the earth in less than three times. In 2013, Kepler's work was halted by the gyro's failure, but then the engineers succeeded in restoring the telescope's orientation with solar radiation, and in 2014 a new K2 mission began. In March 2018, the mission team reported that the fuel on board the telescope had come to an end. Without fuel, the observatory can not adjust its orientation in space. On 29 August, Kepler launched its 19th observation campaign, but on October 30, NASA decided to officially stop the observatory due to frequent failures and depleted fuel reserves.

The telescope made its last shot on September 25, 2018, it shows a part of the sky in the constellation Aquarius. Some of the objectives of the telescope at that time were: the famous planetary system TRAPPIST-1, the star GJ 9827, in an orbit around which an exoplanet is suitable for carrying out observations of the study of the atmosphere, and the star K2 -138, around which there are six planets with dimensions from Earth to Neptune. It was the first system that was discovered in the context of civic science. The black openings in the middle and along the top of the image are the result of past failures of some elements of the CCD of the telescope camera. The complete collection of scientific data from Kepler stopped only a few hours after the last photo was taken.

After completing the Kepler mission, the TESS space telescope remained in search of exoplanets. It was launched in space last April, and a month after the launch sent the first test snapshot. In addition, the launch in the space of a new telescope CHEOPS, created by the European Space Agency, was planned at the beginning of 2019.

Read the scientific results of the nine-year work of the Kepler telescope in our material. "The Star Herald Legacy".

Alexander Voytyuk

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