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OUR best eye on alien worlds has developed a blind spot. NASA's planet-hunting telescope Kepler has developed a fault that means it sees the equivalent of static in some parts of its view.
Kepler launched Movie Camera in 2009 to hunt for planets orbiting other stars. Many giant planets on tight orbits have already been found, but the telescope's main aim is to find Earth-sized planets orbiting their stars at distances that can support the presence of liquid water and potentially life.