Another ongoing mission that's likely to have a big year is the Kepler telescope
, which is busy hunting for Earth-sized exoplanets (planets outside our solar system). Kepler tries to spot distant planets by watching for a dip in a star's light
as a planet passes in front of it, and it has been very successful since it was first switched on in April 2009. Kepler researchers have already announced the discovery of eight exoplanets
and have identified more than 700 hopefuls. But last June Kepler scientists declared
that they wouldn't be releasing information on the most exciting planet candidates until they'd thoroughly checked them out. The date they announced for the revelation of the hoarded data: February 2011.