Latest News NASA just announced the discovery of 1,284 alien planets - Physics-Astronomy.org

Latest News NASA just announced the discovery of 1,284 alien planets

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope mission has presently announced the discovery of 1,284 latest exoplanets - nine of which are considered potentially habitable.
This is the most latest planets announced at any one time, and almost doubles the number of confirmed exoplanets out there in the Universe, which makes it a pretty huge deal. The discoveries were made using a new technique that allows scientists to assess the likelihood that blips in the data really are planets, and aren't the effect of other astronomical objects.
"This announcement more than doubles the figure of confirmed planets from Kepler," said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA Headquarters. "This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually find out another Earth."
When Kepler looks for exoplanets, it looks at the light coming from distant stars. Any sign of that light dimming slightly previous to it gets to Kepler could be a result of a planet passing in front of its sun.
That's the best system we have so far, but it can also guide to a whole lot of false positives because planets aren't the only thing that can dim a star's light - for example, it could be a binary star system, a brown dwarf, or a low-mass star.
To confirm what's going on, in the history we've had to follow up on each of those candidate planet observations one at a time using ground-based telescopes, which is incredibly time-consuming and expensive. It's one of the reasons we were just able to confirm 984 exoplanets before this, despite seven years of the Kepler mission.
But the new validation technique assesses the probability that planet candidates actually are planets en masse, without any follow-up necessary.
Before the Kepler space telescope launched, we did not know whether exoplanets were rare or common in the galaxy. Thanks to Kepler and the research community, we now know there could be additional planets than stars," said Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters. "This knowledge informs the future missions that are needed to take us ever-closer to finding out whether we are alone in the universe."
Latest News NASA just announced the discovery of 1,284 alien planets

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