Anuradha ShettyApr 04, 2011 15:34:27 IST
The picture below at first may just seem to be a neat arrangement of undefined objects. However, this image taken by the Kepler space telescope that was launched by NASA two years ago is anything but a mere arrangement.
Believe it or not!
By the way of tracking dimming starlight, the telescope has captured a line of around 1,235 potential alien planets. Taken over a period of several Kepler’s observatory grabs, this final picture is an amalgamation of all pictures taken so far. Created by Jason Rowe, a devoted NASA scientist, this picture is an outcome of Kepler’s planet-hunting strategy in a very concise format.
Rowe’s picture, in its isolation, has won him a lot of fans. He’s a part of the Kepler team at NASA's Ames Research Center and the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute. For the sakes of this research alone, a spacecraft keenly observes a certain patch of the sky. This spacecraft makes note of any small changes, like trace of light coming out from every star it observes. It then goes ahead and makes records of planet sighting. However, the results of the Kepler’s telescope aren’t the only sources used. Astronomers have been relying on other telescopes, as well to confirm Kepler’s findings.
The above graphic is a result of Jason Rowe’s scientific plotting software program. He created synthetic stellar images that were properly scaled to one another, resulting in the final picture. Scientists over the course of their planet hunting have found out that the Milky Way alone houses over 50 billion alien planet candidates.
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