среда, 31 октября 2018 г.

The Kepler space telescope has shown us our galaxy is teeming with planets — and other...

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The Kepler space telescope has taught us there are so many planets out there, they outnumber even

the stars. Here is a sample of these wondrous, weird and unexpected worlds (and

other spectacular objects in space) that Kepler has spotted with its “eye” opened to the heavens.



Kepler has found that double sunsets

really do exist.


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Yes, Star Wars fans, the double sunset on Tatooine could really exist.

Kepler discovered the first known planet around a double-star system, though Kepler-16b is probably a gas giant without a solid surface.



Kepler has gotten us closer to finding

planets like Earth.


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Nope. Kepler hasn’t found Earth 2.0, and that wasn’t the job it set out

to do. But in its survey of hundreds of thousands of stars, Kepler found planets

near in size to Earth orbiting at a distance where liquid water could pool on

the surface. One of them, Kepler-62f, is about 40 percent bigger than Earth and

is likely rocky. Is there life on any of them? We still have a lot more to

learn.



This sizzling world is so hot iron would

melt!


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One of Kepler’s early discoveries was the small, scorched world of Kepler-10b. With a year that lasts less than an Earth day and density high enough to

imply it’s probably made of iron and rock, this “lava world” gave us the first

solid evidence of a rocky planet outside our solar system. 



If it’s not an alien megastructure, what

is this oddly fluctuating star?


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When Kepler detected the oddly fluctuating light from “Tabby’s

Star
,” the internet lit up with speculation of an alien

megastructure. Astronomers have concluded it’s probably an orbiting dust

cloud.  



Kepler caught this dead

star cannibalizing its planet.


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What happens when a solar system dies? Kepler discovered a white dwarf,

the compact corpse of a star in the process of vaporizing a

planet
.





These Kepler planets are more than twice the age of our Sun!


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The five small planets in Kepler-444 were born 11 billion years ago when our galaxy was in its youth. Imagine

what these ancient planets look like after all that time?



Kepler found a supernova exploding at

breakneck speed.


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This premier planet hunter has also been watching stars explode. Kepler

recorded a sped-up version of a supernova called a “fast-evolving

luminescent transit
” that reached its peak brightness at breakneck

speed. It was caused by a star spewing out a dense shell of gas that lit up

when hit with the shockwave from the blast. 


* All images are artist illustrations.


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