Last night was the biggest night for movies and actors. So today I am giving the award for best planet hunter to…..Kepler!
Kepler is like the gift that keeps on giving. The Kepler team analyzing the data captured by the now disabled spacecraft have found another 715 exo-planets.
That is almost as many planets that have been identified in the past decade! Kepler had previously identified 246 planets. Over the past 20 years, Kepler is responsible for more than 1/2 of all exo-planets found.
I know that Kepler cannot be fixed, but for the $600M price-tag, and the continued discoveries, I think we should consider putting another Kepler up. This time point it at a different part of the sky, with a wider field and a better camera.
Considering the $8Billion dollar price tag of the James Webb space telescope, Kepler was a bargain. Don’t get me wrong, I do want to see the results from the Webb telescope, but that is years away (if ever).
Although last night was the Academy Awards, I think the trophy for the MTV music awards is more appropriate for Kepler’s big win.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +