Kepler starts the 18th observation campaign

Kepler starts the 18th observation campaign

On 12 May, hunter for alien worlds Kepler launched the 18th observation campaign in his expanded mission K2. For the next 82 days, the spacecraft will look at star clusters of distant galaxies and several objects in the solar system, including comets, bodies outside Neptune and an asteroid. It is expected that in a few months the ship will run out of fuel.

Campaign 18 is a familiar stretch of space, because Kepler examined him at the 5th mission in 2015. But the advantage of observation is that you can find alien worlds that rotate further from the parent stars. Scientists hope not only to find new exoplanets, but also to confirm previously identified candidates.

Open clusters are areas where stars form at about the same age, including M67 and M44. M44 has 6 known exoplanets. Stars in it reach about 800 million years and are considered to be adolescents when compared with the Sun. Many of them are active and endowed with large spots that provide data on the magnetic field - a fundamental stellar component that stimulates flares and other activity. The age of stars in M67 reaches several billion years. This is one of the most studied open clusters. Scientists will continue to analyze the brightness change in the stars and look for the signatures of the planets, watching the pulsations of evolving stellar objects.

In addition, Kepler will focus on Blazars - energetic nuclei of distant galaxies with central black holes. They release streams of hot plasma towards the Earth. The most notable is OJ 287. This system holds two black holes, one of which is 18 billion times more massive than the Sun.

In our system, the apparatus study comets, trans-Neptunian objects and near-earth asteroid (99942) Apophis. This 1000-foot piece of rock in 2029 will be held at a distance of 20,000 miles from us. This is close, but still not dangerous.

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