Kepler epitaph? Eight most intriguing finds of troubled telescope.

Kepler, the space telescope designed to help us find other Earth-like planets, is on the fritz. Scientists hope they will be able to fix it remotely, but if they can't, its brief, brilliant career could be over. Here are eight of its most important discoveries.

7. Kepler-37b: Cosmic munchkin

The artist's concept depicts the planet dubbed Kepler-37b. The planet is slightly larger than our moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth.

Finding a planet-candidate smaller than Earth was one thing. Finding Kepler-37b was quite another.

Kepler-37b isn't just smaller than Earth. It's smaller than Mercury. That makes it slightly larger than the moon, which is 27 percent of Earth's size.

Kepler-37b orbits its star at 9.3 million miles, leading to a year of 13.4 Earth days.

The discovery, announced this February, was seen as an important step toward finding more Earth-like planets. The tug on a star of a distant Earth-size planet in an Earth-like orbit would seem very faint from here. In general, planets' influence on their stars increases with size and proximity – one reason large, close-in planets are easier to detect. But Kepler-37b is so small that its influence on its star is similar to that of an Earth-size planet at an Earth-like distance.

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