Nasa’s Keplar spacecraft, repurposed as a planet hunter, has had its first success, finding a new exo-planet called HIP 116454b.
The planet and its star are 180 light-years from Earth in the direction of the Pisces constellation.
Scientists and engineers found a way to use pressure from sunlight as a “virtual reaction wheel” to help control the spacecraft.
Kepler’s planet hunting duties will expand to search for bright nearby stars that harbor planets, and open up opportunities to observe star clusters, active galaxies, and supernovae.
Since May 2014, Kepler has observed more than 35,000 stars, and collected data on star clusters, dense star-forming regions, and several planetary objects within our own solar system.
It is currently in its third campaign.
Sourced from NASA.