A resident of Westbury, NY, Valerie Varnuska likes to enjoy the outdoor environment while taking part in activities such as hiking, walking, and stargazing. In addition to exploring nature trails near Westbury, NY, Valerie Varnuska holds a keen interest in astronomy and learning about new astrological discoveries. Recently, NASA discovered 95 new planets beyond our solar system.
The newly discovered exoplanets (planets existing outside our solar system) were observed using NASA’s Kepler telescope and vary from Earth- to Jupiter-sized. The telescope located the planets while orbiting the earth, providing views of different parts of the sky along with recordings of fluctuations in light levels caused by exoplanets crossing in front of the stars they orbit.
Researchers are analyzing data provided by the telescope to differentiate between fluctuations caused by the movement of exoplanets and those caused by other sources.
Exoplanet explorers hope to discover other Earth-sized planets that may have the capacity to host life. Future space missions intended to help find such planets include the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.