NASA's Kepler mission has discovered an estimated 715 unknown planets. These verified planets orbit a 305 star constellation, which may hold quite a few solar systems like our own. Approximately all of these planets are minutely smaller than Neptune, which is an estimated four times larger than Earth. This discovery of unidentified exoplanets marks an increase in the number of known earths sized planets outside our solar system. Using the Kepler Space Telescope, NASA astronomers have identified the first Earth-size planet within what they consider a habitable zone. The habitable zone is the distance from a star where water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. However, the mission's fate is questionable after the second retraction wheels failed. The telescope needs at least three working reaction wheels in order to maintain its target of 150,000 stars.
Mars Rover Curiosity has been exploring the Gale Crater since 2012 and after two years of data collection has evidence supporting the crater may have once been a lake and was suitable for microbial life. NASA scientists discovered rocks containing water, sediments towards the crater's center, which now contains Mount Sharp. They are hypothesizing that approximately 3.5 billion years ago Mount Sharp did not exist and was in fact filled with water.
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer researchers found evidence that hidden black holes are grouped together than those with exposed black holes. The existing model suggests that black holes are covered by a doughnut type structure and it is this structure that determines if they are hidden or visible. If these findings are confirmed, scientists will have to come up with new ways to explain why some black holes appear to be hidden and others are not. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, now known as Neowise has been given a new mission and that is to identify hazardous objects in the vicinity of Earth.
NASA's latest experiment involves sounding rockets to detect infrared light in the darkness. They have found a glow as bright as all know galaxies combined. This light has been observed by the Spitzer Space Telescope, but this new data suggest the source is a plethora of solitary stars rather than the light left over from the birth of numerous galaxy formations. These implications show that space is not as easily defined as it appears to be. Dark spaces may actually be full of singular stars to dim for us to see with today's technology. It also shows that galaxies may not possess the sharp edges to be seen with today's telescopes. Instead, they may be light years into the darkness. However, it may still be vastly populated though unable to be detected due to its distance and dimness.