Gone perhaps, but Kepler won't soon be forgotten

Astronomers look forward to building on planet-hunting telescope's discoveries

By Andrew Grant, 12:33 PM May 23, 2013

When scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics scheduled a conference called “Exoplanets in the Post-Kepler Era,” they figured that era would still be several years away when the meeting happened. But after last week’s malfunction of a crucial piece of equipment on NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, the May 20 gathering of more than 100 astronomers in Cambridge, Mass., proved all too timely.

As astronomers presented new planetary measurements and observing techni...

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