NASA’s Kepler Space Observatory has discovered its first planet since it was repurposed for a new mission, this one two times the diameter of Earth.
Kepler made its discovery on its new K2 mission, when it found its first exoplanet, or an extrasolar planet – one that travels around a different sun than Earth’s sun. It is 2.5 times the size of Earth, and has a nine-day orbit around its sun. Dubbed HIP 1126454b, it is 180 light years from Earth, toward the constellation Pisces.
“Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Kepler has been reborn and is continuing to make discoveries,” says Andrew Vanderburg, who led the team behind the find.