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nasa:

Five Facts About the Kepler Space Telescope That Will Blow You Away!

Ten years ago, on March 6, 2009, a rocket lifted off a launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It carried a passenger that would revolutionize our understanding of our place in the cosmos–NASA’s first planet hunter, the Kepler space telescope. The spacecraft spent more than nine years in orbit around the Sun, collecting an unprecedented dataset for science that revealed our galaxy is teeming with planets. It found planets that are in some ways similar to Earth, raising the prospects for life elsewhere in the cosmos, and stunned the world with many other first-of-a-kind discoveries. Here are five facts about the Kepler space telescope that will blow you away:

Kepler observed more than a half million stars looking for planets beyond our solar system.

It discovered more than 2,600 new worlds…

…many of which could be promising places for life.

Kepler’s survey revealed there are more planets than stars in our galaxy.

The spacecraft is now drifting around the Sun more than 94 million miles away from Earth in a safe orbit.

NASA retired the Kepler spacecraft in 2018. But to this day, researchers continue to mine its archive of data, uncovering new worlds.

*All images are artist illustrations. Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

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