Happy birthday, Kepler! via I fucking love science/fb
Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of the Kepler Space Telescope’s launch. Though it was originally scheduled to have a 3 year mission ending in 2012, it was extended until 2016. Kepler has discovered an astonishing 3,800+ candidate exoplanets, nearly 1000 of which have been confirmed.
Unfortunately, failure of a second reaction wheel in 2013 meant that Kepler would no longer be able to hunt for planets. Scientists are still determining how to make the most of Kepler’s remaining abilities to gather information. Additionally, there are still two years worth of data that has not been analyzed yet, leaving the possibility for many more discoveries.