The final image from the Kepler Space Telescope has arrived. After nearly a decade of operation, NASA's groundbreaking telescope ran last year and was put on permanent sleep on October 30th. On September 25, the instrument received a final image ̵
Over the last decade, Kepler has collected 678GB of scientific data, documented 61 supernovae, and confirmed 2,662 planets that provided evidence of the publication of nearly 3,000 scientific papers. The telescope observed more than 530,500 stars in the Milky Way, many of which are accompanied by planets that have yet to be confirmed.
] "This full frame image is the last time Kepler took a picture of his entire field of view," Jessie Dotson told a Kepler Project Researcher at NASA, Digital Trends. "The data taken over nine and a half years between the first and last image has been used to statistically prove that there are more planets than stars in our galaxy. More than 2,600 exoplanets have been discovered in Kepler & # 39 ; data so far – and more are still being discovered, as scientists continue to sail through our data. "
The star field Kepler observed in its last speech: GJ 9827, a star on which Kepler discovered three orbital planets worthy of further observations, and the Trappist-1 system, an ultraland dwarf star who grabbed headlines when another NASA telescope, Spitzer, discovered seven earth planets in its orbit. Three of these exoplanets brought the star's "Goldilocks zone", making them potentially habitable.
The picture is not perfect. Errors in parts of the camera caused parts of the mosaic to spread. But the incomplete image only intensifies the mystery and entices further exploration.
And Kepler was not free of challenges during his operation. The telescope struggled with instrument failures only a few years in its first mission, requiring engineers to develop clever solutions from a distance. Nonetheless, soldiers and completed 19 observation campaigns. The telescope kicked the shovel during its "Second Light" mission.