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Space & Astronomy

NASA announces discovery of 1,284 exoplanets

By T.K. Randall
May 10, 2016 · Comment icon 13 comments



Kepler has discovered 1,284 new extrasolar worlds. Image Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
The incredible new haul has more than doubled the total number of known extrasolar worlds to over 3,200.
Discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope, this vast treasure trove of planets is thought to include at least 550 rocky terrestrial worlds as well as 9 that have been identified as potentially habitable.

The telescope also found a further 1,327 'candidates' that are also quite likely to be planets.

"Before the Kepler space telescope launched, we did not know whether exoplanets were rare or common in the galaxy," said NASA's Astrophysics Division director Paul Hertz.

"Thanks to Kepler and the research community, we now know there could be more planets than stars. This knowledge informs the future missions that are needed to take us ever-closer to finding out whether we are alone in the universe."

Source: Independent | Comments (13)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Calibeliever 7 years ago
I listened to quite a bit of it live. The thing that stood out the most was the percentage of possible signals that Kepler was able to confirm. Original estimates were in the low 20%s and after a time those estimates were revised into the 90%s. This was just a small patch of the sky and they'll be combing through this data for years to come. They also touched on the next two missions the TESS and the James Webb Telescope JWST over the next few years. I thought they did a great job of keeping the discussion moving and making it interesting for laymen. It was a nice presentation.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
Let's hope the EM drive is for real so we have a chance of getting to some of these planets in a "reasonable" amount of time.
Comment icon #6 Posted by toast 7 years ago
What do you think, Merc? Will we find evidence of life on other planets within our lifetime? The tech just keeps getting better and better in shorter time frames SETI/seti@home analyze data 24/7/365. So the option is given that intelligent alien life could be detected within the next half an hour.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Merc14 7 years ago
What do you think, Merc? Will we find evidence of life on other planets within our lifetime? The tech just keeps getting better and better in shorter time frames The next gen telescopes start going on-line in 2018 with the launch of the JWST and every couple of years for the nest 8 or so another game changer comes on-line so our tools are going to get much better in the near term. Plus, in 2020, if goes a scheduled, the follow-on to Curiosity should launch for Mars and it will be dedicated to finding past and/or current signs of life on Mars. So, if I live another decade or so then I say yes, ... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by seeder 7 years ago
Oxygen has been found/confirmed on Mars too...I posted about it just a bit earlier... http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=294397 Not trying to divert the thread.... but just saying.... Now, we can get to Mars, conduct better tests etc.... but to get to an exoplanet is a whole other story, and maybe not in 'our' lifetimes, ie: those of you reading now.... so while its good news...its also.... frustratingly far away to send probes....
Comment icon #9 Posted by Merc14 7 years ago
Oxygen has been found/confirmed on Mars too...I posted about it just a bit earlier... http://www.unexplain...howtopic=294397 Not trying to divert the thread.... but just saying.... Now, we can get to Mars, conduct better tests etc.... but to get to an exoplanet is a whole other story, and maybe not in 'our' lifetimes, ie: those of you reading now.... so while its good news...its also.... frustratingly far away to send probes.... If SOFIA can capture, that imagine what the JWST will be able to do.
Comment icon #10 Posted by xxxdemonxxx 7 years ago
I've been waiting on the James Webb forever! It's going to be groundbreaking, and i feel like some major discoveries may come from it. It's exciting to even think about.
Comment icon #11 Posted by pallidin 7 years ago
The advanced space-based imaging technologies and subsequent earth-based computing power for analysis just impresses me.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Habitat 7 years ago
Carl Sagan would have just loved this stuff, sadly died too young. But, who knows, he might be in a place where, "nothing shall be hidden from them".
Comment icon #13 Posted by South Alabam 7 years ago
"More planets than stars." With numbers like that, life is surely to be found elsewhere, It's just a matter of when, and by what means of detecting life, given the vast distances.


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