Kepler is a space observatory launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars.Named after astronomer Johannes Kepler, the spacecraft was launched on March 7, 2009, into an Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit.
Designed to survey a portion of our region of the Milky Way to discover Earth-size exoplanets in or near habitable zones and estimate how many of the billions of stars in the Milky Way have such planets, Kepler’s sole scientific instrument is a photometer that continually monitors the brightness of over 145,000 main sequence stars in a fixed field of view. These data are transmitted to Earth, then analyzed to detect periodic dimming caused by exoplanets that cross in front of their host star.
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