Space Fan News: New Exoplanets and Star Trek’s 50th

By Science Editor

In this 172nd episode of Space Fan News, physicist and space nerd, Tony Darnell, provides some insights from the most recent space news: New Exoplanets found by K2 and Hubble celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek.

First, Tony will delve into the reemergence of the Kepler telescope, or K2 in the case, which serves as an exoplanet hunter, i.e., it searches for planets that orbit other stars outside Earth’s solar system. Already, it has found 197 new exoplanet candidates. As Tony will explain, more testing will be needed until these possible planets are confirmed as actual planets, although many of them have recently been confirmed.

Could life exist on these planets? Perhaps the type of star will provide some evidence to answer this very question, or at the very least, increase the odds for life outside this solar system.

Second, and as Tony will illustrate, astronomers using The Hubble Telescope are celebrating and honoring the 50th anniversary of Star Trek by releasing photos of the “Final Frontier…fields.” Nerds.

Utilizing an ingenious new technique, Hubble was able to peek deeper into space and thus further back into time to get a glimpse of the early universe. How far back did astronomers look? And what did they find? Tony will definitely explain.

Enjoy the episode, live long and prosper, and as Tony always says, “Keep looking up!”

Image Credit: NASA Ames/W. Stenzel

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