The NASA Kepler Probe Discovers 1,284 New Planets

Posted: May 11 2016, 12:09am CDT | by , in News

 
The NASA Kepler Probe Discovers 1,284 New Planets
This artist's concept depicts select planetary discoveries made to date by NASA's Kepler space telescope. Credits: NASA/W. Stenzel

Don't Miss: This How to find Fingerlings in Stock

NASA's Kepler mission has verified 1,284 new planets - the single largest finding of planets to date - giving fresh hopes to astronomers to discover another Earth reverberating with life.

Scientists from Princeton University and NASA confirmed that 1,284 objects observed outside Earth's solar system are indeed planets.

"This announcement more than doubles the number of confirmed planets from Kepler so far to more than 2,300," said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at the NASA headquarters in Washington.

"This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth," he added.

The discovery hinges on a technique developed at Princeton that allows scientists to efficiently analyse thousands of signals Kepler has identified to determine which are most likely to be caused by planets and which are caused by non-planetary objects such as stars.

This automated technique -- implemented in a publicly available custom software package called Vespa -- computes the chances that the signal is in fact caused by a planet.

The researchers used Vespa to compute the reliability values for over 7,000 signals identified in the latest Kepler catalogue, and verified the 1,284 planets with 99 percent certainty.

They also independently verified more than 700 additional planet signals that had already been confirmed as planets by other methods.

In addition, the researchers identified 428 candidates as likely "false positives" or signals generated by something other than a planet.

Lead researcher Timothy Morton from Princeton developed Vespa because the vast amount of data Kepler has gathered since its 2009 launch has made the traditional method of confirming planets by direct ground-based follow-up observation untenable.

"Vespa is a culmination of a change in attitude about how we deal with these large-data surveys," Morton said in a paper appeared in the Astrophysical Journal.

Kepler, which ended data collection for its primary mission in 2013, operated by precisely measuring the brightness of many stars simultaneously.

The satellite looked for stars that exhibited subtle and regular dimming, which indicates that an orbiting planet is passing in front of, or transiting, that star.

Holiday Gift Guides and Deals

Get your Holiday gifting inspired by Best Toy Gifts with High STEM Value and the Top 10 toy gifts under $10 if you are on budget. The most popular Holiday 2017 toy list include Fingerlings, Crate Creatures and more. Don't miss the new Holiday deals on Amazon Devices, including $29.99 Fire tablet.

This story may contain affiliate links.

This free App Solves You Holiday Shopping Problem


Download the free Tracker app now to get in-stock alerts on Fingerling, Luvabella, SNES Classic and more.

Latest News

Comments

The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/59" rel="author">IANS</a>
The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) was established in 1986, initially to serve as an information bridge between India and its thriving Diaspora in North America. Now IANS is a full-fledged wire agency, putting out news 24x7 from around the world.

 

 

Advertisement

comments powered by Disqus