Nasa's Kepler telescope finds largest trove of planets outside our solar system

The largest trove of planets outside our solar system — 1,284 in all — was announced on Tuesday by Nasa.

PTI May 11, 2016 08:50:07 IST
Nasa's Kepler telescope finds largest trove of planets outside our solar system

Miami: The largest trove of planets outside our solar system — 1,284 in all — was announced on Tuesday, more than doubling the number of known exoplanets found with the Kepler space telescope, Nasa said on Tuesday.

Nasas Kepler telescope finds largest trove of planets outside our solar system

Representational image. Reuters

"This announcement more than doubles the number of confirmed planets from Kepler," said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at Nasa Headquarters in Washington.

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

The unmanned Kepler space observatory, which launched in 2009, has been scanning 150,000 stars for signs of orbiting bodies, particularly those that might be able to support life.

It works by observing a dimming in the light of star, known as a transit, each time an orbiting planet passes in front of it.

"Of the nearly 5,000 total planet candidates found to date, more than 3,200 now have been verified, and 2,325 of these were discovered by Kepler," Nasa said in a statement.

Of the new trove of 1,284, nearly 550 could be rocky planets like Earth, based on their size, the US space agency said.

"Nine of these orbit in their sun's habitable zone, which is the distance from a star where orbiting planets can have surface temperatures that allow liquid water to pool."

The addition of these nine means that 21 exoplanets now are known to be possibly circling their stars in the habitable zone, and possible sources for life.

Updated Date:

also read

Seven-year-old Brazilian girl discovers 7 asteroids for NASA, becomes world's youngest astronomer
World

Seven-year-old Brazilian girl discovers 7 asteroids for NASA, becomes world's youngest astronomer

Nicole Oliveira has been honoured by the International Astronomical Search Collaboration for her inputs in asteroid searches.

Jeff Bezos offers NASA $2 billion discount to secure Artemis moon lander contract
science

Jeff Bezos offers NASA $2 billion discount to secure Artemis moon lander contract

The human landing system contract is worth $2.9 billion and Bezos said "this offer is not a deferral, but is an outright permanent waiver."

NASA shares satellite images of phytoplanktons; see pictures here
World

NASA shares satellite images of phytoplanktons; see pictures here

Taking to their Instagram handle, the space agency posted a few photos that featured phytoplanktons in turquoise, green, and light blue colour in water.