Kepler was launched on March 7, 2009, to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars in the Milky Way. It was established into the Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit. It retired on October 30, 2018, after its reaction control system fuel was depleted, reported Swarajya.

During its mission, it observed over 500,000 stars and detected over 2,000 exoplanets. Kepler also discovered planets which will help the astronomers in understanding our milky way.

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It retired after successfully accomplishing its mission.

However, Kepler's mission to discover Earth-like planets, will not come to an end. NASA launched the spacecraft, TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) in April 2018 to continue the hunt for exoplanets, they reported. The following discoveries were made by Kepler which not only left the astronomers scratching their heads, but also helped them in understanding our multifarious Milky Way.

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Kepler 16b

Kepler spacecraft discovered an exoplanet, named Kepler 16b, 200 light-years away, which orbits two stars. It demonstrates the diversity of planets in the Milky Way.

It was discovered when the planet was between the observation sight and its parent star, Kepler 16. Later on, it was further discovered that it’s orbiting two stars in a circumbinary way.

Kepler 10b

The discovery of planet Kepler-10b left astronomers startled as this discovery was first-of-its-kind.

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They observed that the planet is actually 20 times closer to its parent star than Mercury to the sun in our solar system.

It’s a scorched planet due to its close proximity to the parent star. Its temperature is about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than lava on earth.

Kepler 90

The discovery of the Kepler 90 system gave astronomers some hope that discovery of a life-harboring planet is possible. The Kepler 90 system resembles our solar system to a great extent.

This system has planets alignment mechanism in the same way as our solar system. Smaller planets are near to the parent star, while bigger ones are orbiting at a distance. It also has eight planets, but in a way that all the small size planets are before the bigger ones which mean we don’t see them in the solar system.

Many more interesting discoveries were made by the Kepler spacecraft before running out of fuel and shutting down for eternity. The Kepler spacecraft helped humanity to explore the previously unexplored regions of the Milky Way, highlighting our massively diverse universe.

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It may be defunct, but its legacy is being carried on by its successor spacecraft TESS.

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