The space telescope "Kepler," which is designed to search for exoplanets, planets circulating outside the solar system, the major part of its mission completed, but the work will continue for another four years. The report was published recently on the NASA site.
After working for three and a half years of work, the space telescope helped scientists discover more than 2,000 objects that pretend to exoplanets. Number of found with the help of confirmed exoplanets and by November 2012 was 105 units. This included both gas giants that orbit close to their stars and super-Earths, planets that are larger than our little Earth. Were also found several stars with planets.
Extend the mission for another, it was decided in April 2012. Over the next four years will focus mainly search for Earth-like planets, as indicated in the NASA press release.
"Kepler" is used to detect extrasolar planets called the transit method. This method consists in the fact that the presence of planets around a star, helps to ensure that its luster during their passage through the stellar disk periodically reduced. This reduction is generally very low. So, for example, for the Earth and the Sun, it would have amounted to only 84 million shares, but, as demonstrated by the success of the project, it’s easy to fix.
The main element of the Space Telescope are cooled photometers high sensitivity with low noise. They do not stop to fix the emission of more than 150,000 stars, and then send the data back to Earth. Information obtained by using the "Kepler", available even lovers, not only to professional astronomers.