The Kepler Space Telescope just released its final mission catalog, the eight and last version of its primary mission. Issued on June 19, this reveals the existence of 219 potential planets and exoplanets, ten of which present Earth-like features.
According to this new report, Kepler has discovered, in total, over 4,000 new planet candidates. Among them, 2,335 are considered and held as being exoplanets. This latest catalog is the last to be released as part of the telescope’s primary mission. Its target, over the last years, has been to scour a patch of sky, part of the Cygnus constellation, which holds some 160,000 stars.
219 New Exoplanets and 10 Other New-Earth Prospects?
Among its many discoveries, Kepler also detected 50 near-Earth-size objects, which are also in the habitable zone. Over 30 of them have already been verified, and ten more have now been added to the list.
These are just a part of the 219 new exoplanets revealed in the latest report. Many other such space bodies have been discovered, but many still bring wonder due to their sometimes extreme features.
One of the newly discovered near-Earth objects is especially interesting. According to initial observations, KOI 7711, as it is being called, seems to be only 30 percent wider than our planet. Its orbit also lasts around the equivalent of an Earth year.
“7711 is the closest to the Earth in terms of our current measurements of its size and how far away it is from its star,” stated Susan Mullaly.
Besides the addition of new space bodies, Kepler also brought evidence in favor of the following theory. The family tree for small planets seems to split into two different branches. One of them features Earth-sized or alike planets, while the other includes gaseous, smaller than Neptune-sized planets.
Image Source: Exoplanets/NASA