How Did Astronomers Find the New Earth-Size Planets? ( - Since 2009, NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has been sitting in space, pointing its telescope at a patch of the sky near the constellations Cygnus and Lyrae. Its field of view, a region of the Milky Way galaxy about the size of two open hands raised to the cosmos, contains roughly 160,000 stars. Scientists on the Kepler team are primarily interested not in these stars themselves, but in the planets that may orbit them.

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