Kepler observatory K2 mission. Computer illustration showing NASA's Kepler space observatory operating in its new mission profile called K2. This mission involves the spacecraft observing in the ecliptic plane, the orbital path of Earth around the sun, depicted by the grey-blue line marked by opaque cross-like shapes. During performance testing to prove K2 would work, astronomers confirmed the first exoplanet discovered by the K2 mission, HIP 116454b.
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