The Kepler mission came on the 388th anniversary of the death of German astronomer Johannes Kepler (Johannes Kepler).
This is the first probe to search for planets in the Milky Way. Over the years, its observations have confirmed the existence of more than 2,600 extragalactic planets, many of which may be the key to finding extraterrestrial life.
The artistic concept map of Kepler-186f is the first known extragalactic planet with a Earth-like volume and a habitable zone.
The Kepler team shut down the security mode of the detector so that it would not unwittingly restart the system. They also closed the signal transmitter, thus cutting off the communication of the detector.
Imperceptibly, the time has been nine years since the launch of the detector. This group of "good night" instructions means that the retirement of Kepler detector is a foregone conclusion. As early as October 30, NASA announced that the Kepler probe had run out of fuel and could no longer continue its scientific exploration.
The Kepler mission came on the 388th anniversary of the death of German astronomer Johannes Kepler (Johannes Kepler). Kepler discovered the laws of planetary motion and died on November 5, 1630.
Kepler's control center is located at the University of Colorado Boulder's Atmospheric and Space Physics Laboratory (LASP), from here. The control team issued the final instructions to Kepler using NASA's deep space network (Deep Space Network). LASP represents NASA and Bohr Aerospace Technology company (Ball Aerospace
The Kepler team shut down the security mode of the detector so that it would not unwittingly restart the system. They also closed the signal transmitter, thus cutting off the communication of the detector. Because the detector rotates slowly, Kepler's team must pay close attention to the time it takes to send instructions so that the detector receives instructions during the communication available period.
The Kepler team will continue to monitor the detector to ensure that the instructions are properly implemented. At present, the Kepler detector is circling around the sun on a safe orbit, about 146 million kilometers from the earth.
The Kepler probe was launched in 2009. According to the task team, this tiny detector can achieve and exceed NASA's expectations. This is the first probe to search for planets in the Milky Way. Over the years, its observations have confirmed the existence of more than 2,600 extragalactic planets, many of which may be the key to finding extraterrestrial life.
We have never found planets outside our solar system before Kepler. "as NASA's first planetary search mission, Kepler far exceeded our expectations and paved the way for our search for life inside and outside our solar system. "it not only showed us how many planets might exist, but also inspired a whole new and active field of research," said Thomas Zuberson (Thomas Zurbuchen), deputy director of the NASA Science Mission Committee. This field has caused a stir in the scientific community. "
"Its discovery gives us a new understanding of our place in the universe and illuminates the fascinating mysteries and possibilities among the stars." Data from the Kepler probe show that there are far more planets in the universe than we think. NASA said that the number of planets could exceed that of stars.
In early October this year, the Kepler probe sent the last batch of observations back to earth. According to Kepler's team, all the observations are now archiving and open to the public. It was during this so-called "deep space network" period, when the Kepler probe was targeting Earth for data transmission, that the mission team learned that the probe had moved into a fueless sleep mode. After assessing the reasons and possible next steps, the mission team concluded that it was time for Kepler to retire.
Kepler has made "amazing achievements" during the nine-year mission, said Patty Boyd (Padi Boyd), a scientist on the (TESS) mission for the next phase of NASA's transit exoplanet survey. The Kepler spacecraft shows us a galaxy full of planets, "and we're going to explore these planets next." the TESS mission will become the Kepler successor.
"it radically changed our perception of our place in the universe," said Paul Hertz (Paul Hertz), director of astrophysics at NASA. "with the Kepler Space Telescope and its scientific mission, we now know that. Planets are more common in our galaxy than stars. "
Four years after the launch of the Kepler probe, there was trouble, and mechanical failure temporarily stopped it.
At that time, the detector had already completed the preliminary goal of the mission. By moving the field of view about every three months, the mission team restored the probe and continued the next phase of the mission, the so-called "K2".
Kepler continues to search for planets orbiting stars, looking for the brightness drops they cause as they pass through the stars. "it's like trying to find a flea that crawls through the lights of a car that is 100 miles away," said William Borucci, a retired NASA scientist who initially led Kepler's scientific team.
Kepler detector completed 18 scientific tasks after the K2 phase. NASA said the Kepler probe had "fully exploited its potential" before it retired. It had made many observations and discovered thousands of planets.
NASA will supplement the TESS mission launched in April with data from the 19th observation, the last Kepler observation. Moreover, given the vast amount of data Kepler has acquired over the years, the mission team said more useful information could be found in its legacy.
"We know that the retirement of Kepler doesn't mean that its discovery is over," said Jesse Dorson, a Kepler project scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center. And how to carry out future missions based on Kepler's findings is very exciting. "
5 discoveries of Kepler detector
After its launch in 2009, the Kepler probe has helped astronomers discover many planets outside the solar system. It is mainly looking for terrestrial planets, that is, rocky planets, orbiting their parent stars at a moderate distance, just within the habitable zone.
If a planet is in a habitable zone, it means that its surface is neither too cold nor too hot to allow liquid water to exist. Liquid water is one of the important conditions for life to emerge. During its eight-year mission, the Kepler probe discovered thousands of extragalactic novae, five of which were particularly remarkable.
In 2014, the Kepler probe made one of its most important discoveries. It discovered Kepler-452b, the so called "Earth 2".
In 2014, the Kepler probe made one of its most important discoveries. It discovered Kepler-452b, the so called "Earth 2". This planet has many similar features to the earth, though it is 1400 light-years away.
The orbit of Kepler-452b is similar to that of the Earth, and the radiation received by Kepler-452b is about the same as that of the Earth, and the length of a year is about the same. Astronomers are not sure if life exists on the planet, but say that if plants on Earth could be transplanted there, they should be able to survive well.
The first planet to orbit two stars
In 2011, the Kepler probe discovered a planet moving around the binary system. This planet is called "Kepler -16b", which is about 200 light-years away from the earth. Researchers likened the planet to Tatooine in Star Wars 4: New Hope, believing that two suns would also appear in its sky.
Found the first habitable planet outside the solar system.
In 2011, astronomers discovered Kepler-22b, the first planet suitable for life outside the solar system. It seems to be a large rocky planet with a surface temperature of about 22 degrees Celsius, about the same as Earth's temperature in spring.
Finding the first "super earth"
Kepler detector discovered the first "super earth" - LHS 1140b in April 2017. The planet orbits a star about 40 million light-years away from Earth, and scientists believe it has a huge magma ocean.
Discovery of Trappist-1 star system
The Trappist-1 star system has up to 7 earth like planets, one of the largest astronomical discoveries in 2017.
The Trappist-1 star system has up to 7 earth like planets, one of the largest astronomical discoveries in 2017. These planets all orbit a red dwarf star about 39 million light-years away from Earth. They may all have liquid water on their surfaces. Scientists believe that three of these planets may have good natural conditions, or even have evolved life. The Kepler probe discovered the system in 2016, but scientists did not disclose the discovery in a series of papers until February this year.