Video: Update on the Kepler exoplanet search

The Kepler space observatory was thought to be out of the exoplanet finding business for good due to a failure in the guidance hardware.  However, the system was returned to action using a clever technique with solar light pressure to maintain the telescope’s pointing stability. The K2 Mission, as this new phase of operation is called, has been underway for sometime now. This SETI Institute seminar gives an update

The NASA K2 mission makes use of the Kepler spacecraft to expand upon Kepler’s groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of exoplanets and astrophysics through new and exciting observations. K2 uses an innovative way of operating the spacecraft by carefully balancing the pressure of photons coming from the Sun. The K2 mission offers long-term, simultaneous optical observation of thousands of objects at high precision. Ecliptic fields are observed for approximately 75-days enabling a unique exoplanet survey which fills the gaps in duration and sensitivity between the Kepler and TESS missions, and offers exoplanet target identification for JWST transit spectroscopy. Astrophysics observations with K2 include studies of young open clusters such as the Pleiades and Hyades, galaxies, supernovae, and galactic archeology.

See the Kepler Science Center for more about the K2 mission.