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Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:17 am
by brian livesey
The recent discovery of a new planet around the star Kepler-90 brings a total of eight known planets in this stellar system. The possibility of any of them supporting life is debatable, as all eight of the planets occupy orbits closer into their parent star than do the planets of our solar system. Kepler-90's planets could be too hot for life.
The discovery of the new planet was made by using Google's artificial intelligence technology. A computer looked through the planet-searching Kepler Telescope's data to spot signals that are too weak for humans to detect.
Kepler has four year's worth of data in the search for new exoplanets. It involves observing 150,000 stars. The new computer search can detect far more than humans could.
"Just as we expected, there are exciting discoveries lurking in our archived Kepler data, waiting for the right tool or technology to unearth them," said Paul Hertz, director of Nasa's astrophysics division.