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NASA’s Kepler spacecraft goes into emergency mode

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has gone into emergency mode (EM) some 75 million miles from Earth.

The lowest operational mode EM of the spacecraft was discovered during a scheduled contact for undertaking microlensing observing campaign.

Initial indications shows that Kepler had entered EM before mission operations began the manoeuvre to orient the spacecraft to point towards the centre of the Milky Way.

Kepler spacecraft hunts for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. It was launched in March 2009. Since its launch, the mission has been incredibly successful and has led to finding of more than 1,000 alien planets of which half are exoplanets to be ever discovered.

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Ancient star with five Earth size planets discovered by astronomers

Astronomers have discovered a star that is 11.2 billion years old and has at least five Earth-size planets.

It was discovered by team of astronomer’s after analyzing data from NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft for over four years.

Key findings

  • This star is named as Kepler-444. It is 25 percent smaller than our Sun and is 117 light years from Earth.
  • It belongs to the first generation of stars and considered as part of one of the oldest systems in the galaxy.
  • This star has five known planets which have sizes that fall between Mercury and Venus.
  • These 5 planets are so close to their star that they complete their orbits in fewer than 10 days.
  • This discovery is going to help astronomers learn more about the history of our solar system- Milky Way.

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