Get the popcorn ready. NASA is currently hosting a news teleconference to announce the latest discoveries made by its planet-hunting mission, the Kepler Space Telescope.
Back in March 2009, when Kepler was launched, scientists didn’t know how common planets were outside our solar system. But soon, the telescope revealed that almost all stars host a plethora of alien worlds.
Then, in 2014, the spacecraft began a new, extended mission called K2. During its prime mission alone, Kepler discovered:
- 4,696 candidate exoplanets
- 1,041 confirmed exoplanets
- 12 confirmed exoplanets roughly Earth-sized in the habitable zone of their stars
Indeed, because of data brought back from these missions, astronomers believe there may be at least one planet orbiting every star in the sky. K2 continues to search for exoplanets, while introducing new research opportunities to study young stars, supernovae, and other cosmic phenomena.
Which means there’s no limit to what might be announced in relation to the extended mission’s findings.
The teleconference audio and visuals is being streamed live, and if you’d like to participate in today’s discussion, questions can be submitted on Twitter during the teleconference using the hashtag #askNASA.