Space telescope, "Kepler", designed to search for planets outside the solar system, has completed the major part of their mission, but will continue for another four years. The announcement was published on the website NASA.
For three and a half years of the Space Telescope, scientists were able to detect more than two thousand objects candidates for the title of exoplanets.
By November 2012 the number of confirmed extrasolar planets found with it, is 105 pieces. Among them was a gas giant, rotating close to their stars - hot Jupiters, and the world, just slightly exceeding our size - super-Earths. Were also found stars with multiple planets.
The decision to extend the mission was taken in April 2012. As stated in the press release NASA, in the search for the next four years will focus mainly on planets like Earth.
For the detection of exoplanets, "Kepler" is using the so-called transit method. It lies in the fact that in the presence of planets around the star, its brightness periodically reduced during their passage across the disk of the star. Such a reduction is usually very low. For example, for the Earth and the Sun, it would amount to 84 millionth shares, however, has shown success of the project, it can be fixed.
The main element of the telescope is a highly sensitive cooled photometer with low noise. They constantly fix emission of more than 150,000 stars and send the data back to Earth. Information obtained "Kepler", is available not only to professional astronomers and amateurs.