A retouched image showing an extreme form of gravity lensing ( Image NASA)
Diagram of how gravity lensing works (Image: NASA)
Cutaway view of Kepler ( Image: NASA)
The Kepler spacecraft could still hunt planets using gravity miscrolensing ( Image: NASA)
A reaction wheel like the one that failed aboard Kepler ( Image: NASA)
Last month, NASA declared its Kepler mission to hunt exoplanets at an end when one of the space telescope’s reaction wheels failed. Unable to keep itself pointed in the right direction, it could no longer carry on its hunt for planets beyond the Solar System. That seemed like the end of things, but Keith Horne of the University of St Andrews and Andrew Gould of Ohio State University disagree. They claim that Kepler could still hunt for exoplanets using gravity microlensing to detect how stars with planets distort space.
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