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The end is near for the most prolific planet hunter of all time.
NASA's iconic Kepler space telescope — which has discovered 70 percent of the 3,750 exoplanets known to date — is running so low on fuel that the agency has put it into a hibernation-like state, agency officials announced today (July 6).
NASA made the move in an attempt to ensure that Kepler has enough fuel left to beam its latest data haul to its handlers early next month. [Kepler's 7 Greatest Exoplanet Discoveries (So Far)]
"To bring the data home, the spacecraft must point its large antenna back to Earth and transmit the data during its allotted Deep Space Network time, which is scheduled in early August," NASA officials wrote in a statement today. (The Deep Space Network is the global array of radio telescopes that NASA uses to communicate with its far-flung spacecraft.)
"Until then, the spacecraft will remain stable and parked in a no-fuel-use safe mode," they added. "On Aug. 2, the team will command the spacecraft to awaken from its no-fuel-use state and maneuver the spacecraft to the correct orientation and downlink the data."
The $600 million Kepler mission launched in March 2009, with the goal of helping astronomers determine just how common Earth-like planets are throughout the Milky Way galaxy. The spacecraft finds alien worlds via the "transit method," noticing the tiny brightness dips caused when orbiting planets cross a star's face from Kepler's perspective.
On Monday, Sept. 17, a series of tornadoes from Hurricane Florence struck Virginia and caused heavy destruction in the Richmond area, including a tree that was housing 70,000 bees.
While crests will continue to work downstream along the major rivers in the eastern part of the Carolinas into next week, some unprotected areas may stay flooded until the end of September or early October.
No obstante, organizaciones sin fines de lucro crearon la primera Guía para la Protección de la Niñez y la Adolescencia en Situaciones de Emergencia o Desastres.
The newest storm in the western Pacific Ocean will track through the Philippine Sea this weekend, potentially developing into a typhoon before impacting land next week.
The Carolinas continue to deal with Florence's aftermath while flooding inundated other parts of the U.S. this week.
As disaster relief efforts continue in the wake of Hurricane Florence, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has imposed restrictions on drone usage in areas affected by the storm.
Animals in the path of Florence were rescued by volunteers and taken across America to Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and as far as Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Storms and heat will be the main factor this week as the third week of the NFL season gets underway.