Tags: eight | planets | kepler-90 | solar system | nasa

Eight Planets in Kepler-90 Solar System, Not Just 7, NASA Finds

Eight Planets in Kepler-90 Solar System, Not Just 7, NASA Finds
NASA used a Google algorithm to discover an eighth planet in the Kepler-90 solar system, Kepler-90i. (NASA/Ames Research Center/Wendy Stenzel)

By    |   Friday, 15 December 2017 07:47 AM

The Kepler-90 solar system has eight planets, not just seven, NASA announced Thursday after it used Google machine learning to analyze data that led to the discovery.

The system is 2,545 light-years from Earth, and the sun-like star at its center is called Kepler-90. It is the first solar system NASA has discovered that has eight planets orbiting a single star other than our own.

NASA knew about the solar system already, but the eighth planet, Kepler-90i, was discovered with the Google algorithm. The computer used telescope data to identify the planet while looking for exoplanets in the system.

"Just as we expected, there are exciting discoveries lurking in our archived Kepler data, waiting for the right tool or technology to unearth them," NASA Washington Astrophysics Division director Paul Hertz said on NASA's website. "This finding shows that our data will be a treasure trove available to innovative researchers for years to come."

Even though the Kepler-90 solar system has eight planents like ours, scientists don't think it has the potential for life.

Kepler-90i is 30 percent larger than Earth and has an average surface temperature believed to be more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit because of its closeness to its star. It orbits the sun about every 14 days, NASA reported.

The researchers plan to use the same methods to look for other previously unknown planets orbiting more than 150,000 stars identified by the Kepler telescope.

Lead astronomer on the project Andrew Vanderburg said he believes Kepler-90 may have more planets that haven’t yet been detected.

“It would almost be surprising to me if there weren’t any more,” he said, Business Insider reported. “Is an eight-planet solar system like our own really that extraordinary? Maybe there are systems out there with so many planets, they make our solar system seem ordinary.”

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There are eight planets in the Kepler-90 solar system, not just seven, NASA announced Thursday after using Google machine learning to analyze data that led to the discovery.
eight, planets, kepler-90, solar system, nasa
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2017-47-15
Friday, 15 December 2017 07:47 AM
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