Number of planets skyrockets

Scientists announced the discovery of a “bonanza” of new planets orbiting stars outside our solar system — otherwise known as exoplanets — using the Kepler telescope and a new planet-hunting technique experts say will drive more discoveries for years to come.
The discovery of 715 planets announced by NASA on Wednesday include four planets in the “habitable zones” of 305 star systems, areas where the temperature is right for liquid water, a key component for life.
“This is the largest windfall of [exoplanets], not exoplanet candidates, that’s ever been announced at one time,” said Douglas Hudgins, a NASA astrophysicist, during a teleconference Wednesday.
The data increases the number of Earth-sized planets by 400 percent, and brings the number of confirmed planets to almost 1,700, up from about 1,000.  

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(Photo: NASA Ames/SETI/J Rowe)

Number of planets skyrockets

Scientists announced the discovery of a “bonanza” of new planets orbiting stars outside our solar system — otherwise known as exoplanets — using the Kepler telescope and a new planet-hunting technique experts say will drive more discoveries for years to come.

The discovery of 715 planets announced by NASA on Wednesday include four planets in the “habitable zones” of 305 star systems, areas where the temperature is right for liquid water, a key component for life.

“This is the largest windfall of [exoplanets], not exoplanet candidates, that’s ever been announced at one time,” said Douglas Hudgins, a NASA astrophysicist, during a teleconference Wednesday.

The data increases the number of Earth-sized planets by 400 percent, and brings the number of confirmed planets to almost 1,700, up from about 1,000.  

Read more

(Photo: NASA Ames/SETI/J Rowe)

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