Space & Astronomy
NASA discovers 715 new extrasolar planets
By T.K. Randall
February 27, 2014 · 12 comments
Kepler has observed more than 150,000 stars. Image Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
The record-breaking haul of newly discovered worlds comes courtesy of the Kepler Space Telescope.
The sheer volume of new planets was made possible thanks to a new verification technique that can be applied to several candidate planets at once instead of the previous method that involved having to check them one at a time.
"What we have been able to do with this is strike the mother lode, get a veritable exoplanet bonanza," said planetary scientist Jack Lissauer. "We have almost doubled just today the number of planets known to humanity."
Not a lot is known about these worlds but it is believed that most of them are in multiple-planet solar systems and at least four are located within the habitable zones of their parent stars.
"The Kepler team continues to amaze and excite us with their planet hunting results," said NASA's John Grunsfeld.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
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