Watch LIVE: NASA to reveal exoplanet discoveries | Science | News

The TV live stream will kick off at 4pm BST (11am EDT) live from the Kepler Science Conference in California today. 

Four experts linked to the Kepler space mission will sit on the panel to reveal more about the planets outside Earth’s solar system.

The panelists will include Kepler program scientist Mario Perez, Kepler research scientists Susan Thompson, doctoral candidate Benjamin Fulton and NASA Sagan fellow Courtney Dressing.

According to NASA, the new catalogue of planets is “the most complete and reliable accounting of distant worlds to date”.

The space agency said in a statement: “This survey will enable new lines of research in exoplanet study, which looks at planets outside our solar system.”

NASA’s hunt for habitable exoplanets began in 2009, when the spacecraft was launched. 

The Kepler spacecraft works by observing some 150,000 stars in the sky using the “transit method”. It keeps track of stars by watching out for any changes in their brightness.

If a star dims out, it could be because a plant moved in front of it. If this occurs repeatedly, the likeliness of an exoplanet increases.

Natalie Batalha, the Kepler Mission project scientist, spoke on the NASA in Silicon Valley podcast about the significance of the mission.

She explained how the Kepler was the first space mission capable of seeing Earth-sized planets orbit other stars in the habitable zone –  a region at distance from a star where the conditions are right for water to exist without freezing or boiling away.

“So it was a piece of technology that was launched that was really new. It allowed us to look at the universe in a different way,” she said.

“And as a result, whenever you put a new piece of technology into space, or you build a new piece of technology to look at things in a new way, you’re going to learn a lot, even more than you perhaps set out to learn. And certainly that’s what Kepler did.”

The mission was modified and rebranded K2 in 2013, following the…

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