NASA’s exoplanet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has final run out of fuel, forcing its retirement after an extended 9.5-year mission that saw the discovery of 2,681 confirmed planets to date and 2,899 more candidates.
Astronomers reviewing data collected by the planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft have found evidence for a large exomoon orbiting a gas giant 8,000 light years away. If confirmed, it would mark the first detection of a moon in another solar system.
An automated telescope has found a super-Earth orbiting the star 40 Eridani A, famous to Star Trek fans as Science Officer Spock’s home star. It is twice the size of Earth and completes an orbit every 42 days.
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite’s four cameras have captured a razor-sharp “first light” image of the southern sky, demonstrating the photographic prowess needed to hunt down planets around nearby stars.