Kepler Mission Confirms Another 104 Exoplanets
The Kepler's K2 mission shines again as reserachers from the University of Arizona confirmed that there are another 104 exoplanets discovered based on NASA's K2 mission data.
The data was acquired during Kepler's extended mission popularly referred to as K2. Earth-based telescope data were combined with K2 discoveries to confirm the existence of more exoplanets. And according to the researchers, some of the newly discovered exoplanets may be rocky and cool enough to support life. Now that's another 104 potential life-bearing celestial bodies to look into. Some even have characteristics that are similar to Earth.
"Kepler's original mission observed a small patch of sky as it was designed to conduct a demographic survey of the different types of planets. This approach effectively meant that relatively few of the brightest, closest red dwarfs were included in Kepler's survey," Ian Crossfield, a Sagan Fellow at the University if Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and lead researcher said in a statement.
The study drastically increased the number of red bright stars in the Milky Way galaxy. According to the study, these smaller and cooler stars are more common compared to sunlike stars, the center of Keplers first mission. The Kepler mission is responsible for discovering numerous exoplanets today.
The researchers employed in intensive program of scientific processes in the study "197 Candidates and 104 Validated Planets in K2's First Five Fields" to arrive at their findings including photometric analyses, stellar spectroscopy, high-resolution imaging and statistical validation. These processes enabled them to validate the existence of 104 more exoplanets.
With the new exoplanets confirmed, the number of Kepler's exoplanets discoveries rose to 3,473.
"This allows the astronomical community ease of follow-up and characterisation, and picks out a few gems for first study by the James Webb Space Telescope, which could perhaps provide information about their atmospheres," Steve Howell, project scientist for Kepler and K2 said in a statement.
Kepler's planet-hunting mission resulted in a haul of exoplanets. This also gave scientists and astronomers new venues to look for habitable bodies in the galaxy or potential signs of life.