The Kepler space telescope might have run out of fuel a few months ago, but astronomers are still using its data to uncover a slew of new worlds.
Using stats from ESA’s Gaia mission and Kepler’s K2 mission, an extension of Kepler’s original planet-finding mission, two recent studies have confirmed the existence of a total of 104 new exoplanets. Their characteristics stretch far and wide, including multi-planet systems, rocky terrestrial worlds, and planets that orbit dangerously close to their host stars.
These newfound bodies can be used to understand how different types of planets form, and also give next-generation telescopes promising worlds to investigate. Two papers describing these findings were published August 2 and November 26 in The Astronomical Journal.